REPORT #1 - JANUARY 10, 2016

Dear AE Team, Family, and Friends,

It was a 34-hour trip for Leon and me from Fort Wayne to Chicago to Brussels to Monrovia. Elijah left from Cincinnati and joined us in Brussels. We are already in Greenville, Sinoe County, courtesy of Mission Aviation Fellowship. MAF recently opened a station in Liberia and they have a beautiful 13-passenger Cessna. The flight only took 50 minutes compared to the long, hard road trip.

Greenville is a somewhat sleepy town of seven or eight thousand people. No one seems to know the exact population. Off to the far right is the port that is being reopened. As you can see, Liberia has miles and miles of beautiful beaches.

Right away we connected with Alex, who has been indispensable in helping facilitate our five-school pilot. He brought along Gabriel, a teacher from Sinoe High School, who will be assisting us as we begin the mid-year assessments on Monday. We were welcomed at the Mississippi Inn guest house by Moses, Susan, and Patience. Several other friends stopped by this evening, including a pastor and a school administrator. It’s great to be back!


REPORT #2 - JANUARY 20, 2016

Dear AE Team, Family, and Friends,

We accomplished our mission in Greenville, Sinoe County, where we completed the mid-year testing in the eight schools. Five of the schools received the laptop labs in September and are running the KA-Lite math program. Three of the schools are being used for control purposes. The data is showing positive results at this mid-year point. Northwest Nazarene University has been contracted to do the  assessment of the program, and their full report will be released after the final testing is completed in May.

We’re back in Monrovia now. We set up the new lab of 25 laptops at the College of West Africa (CWA) High School. This school has a rich tradition. President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf is a graduate. In 1890, Samuel Morris was hired to do some painting at this school! Here you see the workshop we held for the math teachers and administrators from CWA High School, Tubman High School, and Matilda Newport Junior High. The Ministry of Education requested that these large city schools be included in our pilot for this spring term.

Yesterday was a full day of training and testing with students from CWA and Matilda Newport. The students were totally engaged in this program where they practiced dragging by moving the weights up to balance the scale.

2.5.png

Here you see the new RACHEL server that is powering the HP laptops. The technology keeps improving. Both the server and laptops have batteries that last up to 10 hours, and can run an entire school day without recharging!

2.6.png

Please continue to pray for Leon, as his hearing is still suffering from the pressure buildup from the plane trips over a week ago. Alex had his two phones and a laptop computer stolen out of his house two nights ago, and that is a huge loss for him. Yesterday we had some unusual technology glitches in our testing that we believe were caused by student cell phones and other signal interference. Every day is a challenge, but we definitely feel God’s presence with us. Thank you for your prayers. We have three more full days of testing and training before we leave to come home on Sunday.


REPORT #3 - JANUARY 21, 2016

Dear AE Team, Family, and Friends,

Today we had our first major setback. At 7:30 am we arrived at Tubman High School for our final
engagement. Tubman is one of the largest public schools in the country. We had planned a full two-day program for 200+ students, including setup of their new 25-laptop lab, three teacher laptops, projector, presentation laptop, headsets, quiz booklets, and progress tracking forms. Our program was to include basic computer training, NWEA MAP testing (on laptops), diagnostic test (on paper), and Samuel Morris Lessons (from the new book IEI just published). Unfortunately, Tubman had not prepared the room for the computer lab so we had to cancel. We returned to CWA for a couple hours of continued training of their staff. Then we came back to the hotel for some much needed rest.

Yesterday at our closing program at CWA we formally presented the two cases of laptops to the school principals. We had partnered with a fabrication company in Ohio to build these cases. Leon and Charles worked hard assembling them the week before we left.

2.7.png

Here you see Elijah reading a lesson from Samuel Morris: Life Lessons That Challenge the Mind and Shape the Heart to over 100 CWA students. The story of Sammy Morris is becoming known in Liberia!

The book was written by Charles, with editing assistance from Steve Gardner and others. It contains 36 lessons, wrapping the story of Samuel Morris around AE’s 3Cs of Character, Chemistry, and Competency. As this books gets distributed to schools across Liberia we pray it will impact this new generation of young people.

2.9.png

Leon’s hearing began to come back today. Continue to pray for his full recovery. We have a couple more engagements with potential funding partners, then on Sunday evening we head home. Thank you for all your prayers and support.

Gary Friesen
Innovative Education Director