by Lia

As many of you know, we are trying to raise funds to build a learning landscape, as designed by Project H Design. When Vicki came to volunteer at CBSM Education Center, she arrived with various learning games for the children to play.
Vicki and Rev. Wasike and his wife, Phyllis bought 25 buckets to make up a temporary playground (see post below). Upon arrival, Vicki worked with the teachers to set up various games.

Vicki's report of the success of these games is as follows,

"I am attaching for you some photos taken today of the children while learning/playing with the use of the buckets.  They have gone down a treat and the children think its amazing.  Yesterday and today we concentrated on english spelling and maths.  It was wondering to see for the maths that as soon as an equation was called out to a group they all hit the ground and started working out the answer in the soil! Apparently all they were asking today when in class was "will we get to play the bucket games today", the great thing about it is that you can involve all age groups so the younger ones watch and listen and hopefully learn as the games are carried out."

If you want to see for yourself, here is a slideshow I made up of the project so far,
This is what Rev. Wasike reported,

"I was wondering how the local children would cope up with it this new method of learning. After hearing various accounts from the teachers and Vicki, they confirm a local saying which states that a child's brain is a blank space and anything that can be supplied in occupies the memory for now to the future.

Thank you, Vicki for initiating the games. I hope the teachers will also find them interesting and maintain and expand on them after you ahve left. They used to ask me so many questions about how they could teach using tires or buckets for all subjects apart from counting and now they know.

The games are so good that a teacher from government school passed by and saw what you were doing within the school and called me to ask about the games. I suggested he make an appointment with our headteacher  and visit the school to learn more from you or the school  teachers."
I would like to mention that we have a new volunteer, Vicki, in Kimilili. Vicki has arrived from Ireland and will be helping the teachers and the children at CBSM Education Center to set up an improvised learning landscape: using buckets instead of truck tires.
Phyllis and Vicki at the wholesale store
Vicki printed out and laminated the learning games, which are now part of a learning network website. She is going to carry out an evaluation of pre- and post- surveys with the children to see if the learning games promote motivation, communication, and teamwork.
Wanswa, Phyllis, and Vicki after purchasing the buckets

The reason we have chosen buckets in the interim is because we are still trying to raise funds to build a permanent terraced surface area for our playground. The school’s playground is often flooded in rainy season and very dusty in dry season. We are working with the people at Project H Design and the CBSM board of management to come up with a possible long-term solution.

We also have to raise funds for buying the old tires. In Kimilili, tires are used on trucks until there is no possibility of driving on them any more, and then they are used to make all sorts of other goods: from building material to soles of shoes.  Where tires are concerned there are no cast-offs!