Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Student Spotlight: Richmond

Richmond (pronounced reeshmoan) will be a Rheto student this year, which is the equivalent of being a junior in high school. He is definitely a class clown and likes to be the center of attention. He is generally enthusiastic and full of energy. I got to know Richmond through my after school computer class. He loves learning about the computer almost as much as he loves making people laugh.

At the beginning of the year, Richmond was a little rougher around the edges than many of my other students. For example his topics of conversation were more colorful than most of the other kids. However, I saw a major change in Richmond once he started attending Willem's discipleship class on Monday nights. Then I gained some insight into his life. Richmond told me, through a computer assignment, more about his family. He says his mother was a "woman of the night" in Cite Soleil before she died, and his father was a man of adultery. He admits that he was doing life his own way for a long time, but this year he has learned about the Lord because of being at a Christian school (MTM's school in Gramothe) and the discipleship class. Pray that Richmond would continue to grow in his relationship with the Lord and become a shining light to his family.

Monday, August 29, 2011

Another 9th Grade Post

Last week I wrote about a 9th grade student named Ti Blanc. Then I shared the results of the national exams for 9th grade. Today I have a piece of writing from one of the 9th grade assignments this year. To help the students practice writing in English, I gave them each a paper with a topic already written on it. They were required to write 25 sentences about that topic. I know that sounds like a lot. It was. They made me mad the week before, so I gave them a longer assignment as a punishment.

Anyway, this particular piece of writing comes from Jean Ricard, who is probably the best with English in his class. He was also the class president this year. It's not perfect English, but I think you'll get the general idea of what he wants to convey.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Student Spotlight: Ti Blanc

Ti Blanc (pronounced tee blahn) is translated as "little white." His real name is Dieufills, but I’ve never heard anyone call him that. Nicknames are common in Haiti and his dad is likely called Blanc because he has lighter skin. Therefore the son became Ti Blanc because he’s a smaller version of his dad.

Ti Blanc was in 9th grade last year. To move on to 10th grade, students must pass the national exam for the 9th grade level. Along with the rest of the 9th grade students, Ti Blanc had to take and pass a national exam in order to move on to 10th grade. The scores are in and Ti Blanc will be moving on to 10th grade this year. This young man is a natural leader, and often keeps his classmates in line when they act out during class. In addition the kid is hilarious, but he is also very responsible and sets a good example for other students. 

An example of his antics: This is Ti Blanc's awesome outfit for the end of school year party. I burst out laughing when I saw him the first time that morning. I can't tell you how ridiculous this outfit is in the mountain of Haiti. The other kids thought he looked like a painter and they laughed quite a bit about it. He was very proud of having a funny outfit for the party.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

National Exams

Similar to public school in the United States, students in Haiti are required to take standardized national exams. At the end of grade 6, 9, and 12 students must pass an exam to move on to the next grade level. At the end of grade 13 students must pass a test to graduate from secondary school.

Haitian national exams work a little differently than ISTEP+ in Indiana. Currently in Indiana students are tested in Language Arts, Math, and Social Studies or Science depending on the year. In Haiti, students are tested in every subject. Another difference is in the scoring. In Haiti students receive a score for each subject, but all their scores together determine passing and failing. For example, the test may have 700 points possible. A student could receive a 0 in math and still pass because the sum of their other subject scores is enough to meet the cut off.

Recently the 6th grade scores were released. Gramothe 6th graders had a 95% passing rate with 41 of 43 students passing. MTM's school in Dumay had 78% passing rate with 14 of 18 students passing the national exam. The two classes combined had a 90% passing rate. That's incredible!

Hopefully the 9th and 12th grade scores will be released soon so I can find out how my students did. I hope their scores are just as amazing.

Saturday, August 13, 2011

I miss Haiti

Friday, August 12, 2011

Mark Your Calendars

I will be sharing about Haiti and my students at Brenneman Memorial Missionary Church in Goshen, Indiana on Sunday August 21st.

I will speak very briefly during both morning services (3-5 minutes) and then I'll head over to the Sunday school area to share in more depth about what I'm doing in Gramothe.

WHO: Britney Smith
WHAT: sharing about Haiti
WHERE: Brennemen Memorial Missionary Church, 61115 State Road 15, Goshen, IN 46528
WHEN: Sunday August 21st at 9am & 10:30am

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Student Spotlight: Samy

Samy is a man of integrity, a hard worker, and one of our brightest students in Gramothe. He will be in the Philo class this year (the equivalent of being a senior), which means he will be in our first graduating class in May. When he graduates from high school, Samy would like to attend university and/or seminary.

Samy came to us from Cap Haitian, which is on the north coast and several long hours away by car. The details of how he came to be in our area are still a little fuzzy for me. His family still lives in Cap Haitian, and when I first arrived in Haiti last September, Samy was homeless. For a while he bounced between homes of other students, but in June Willem found a more suitable living arrangement for him. Life has been difficult Samy, but he hasn’t given up his hopes and dreams for the future. He knows that with God the impossible can become reality.