This past July, REAP staff and volunteers traveled to Rwanda, like they do every summer. Packed in the bottom of their suitcases were mini-blackboards to be given to the students at Duha. While a very modest offering on the surface, these boards had the potential to transform the learning dynamic of classrooms without materials, like pencils and paper. They have done just that, and have also enabled kids to learn at their own pace in a peer-to-peer setting.
The mini-blackboards have been put to use by primary students as they learn to write in English. In small groups, the kids use the boards in conjunction with multimedia materials to summarize stories, identify new vocabulary and create sentences of their own. These group exercises have increased students’ English proficiency markedly. Since English is the language of instruction in Rwanda, the exercises have ultimately improved students' success in other subjects as well.
REAP seeks to make use of small contributions and maximize their impact with simple but enduring solutions. Thank you to our supporters Heide Wrigley and Lianne Blodgett for making the mini-blackboards a reality for the students at Duha!