09 Jul Bringing creativity to Creative Minds School with the Pencil
Deep in the heart of Athi River town in Machakos County is Creative Minds School, an upcoming school with a population of around 190 students. As we drove through the dusty road that leads to the school, we could not help but notice the development that was taking shape in the area. More residential houses are coming up in the area because of the proximity of Athi River town to Nairobi City Centre. Several factories exist in the area too hence the increase in population in the area. The fresh air and quietness of the town was very appealing even though the sun was very hot.
When Momo Pencils team arrived at Creative minds School, we found the children eagerly waiting for us. They had been told by their teachers to expect visitors who would not only give them pencils but also plant trees with them in their school compound. At around 11.30 am, we arrived at this school located deep in the heart of Athi River. The weather was hot and dry but it was a beautiful day to plant trees. We walked into a school that was in the middle of classes with the younger children continuing with the competency based curriculum (CBC). We watched for a few minutes as the students carried on with their classes.
After a brief meeting and introduction with the headteacher, the children all assembled at the school hall which also doubles up as a church sanctuary on Sundays. Because of the limited space and resources in the school, the younger children sometimes carry on their classes in the church hall.
The primary school is a community based church sponsored school by FOCAN ministries international. The school being sponsored by the church means it is able to educate the local community thereby eliminating illiteracy and bridging the gap in the need for education among the local community.
As we off loaded the cartons of pencils and tree seedlings, we noticed the look of anticipation on the children’s faces as they watched us come into the hall. We had brought what they needed most, the pencil, a basic writing tool that they mostly use in school.
We engaged the children in a brief talk about the importance of conserving the environment and the need to plant trees. The children got an opportunity to learn about the benefit of trees and the need for recycling. We asked the teachers to join us as we distributed wood-free pencils to each and every child. We noticed how keenly the children looked at the pencils as if they were looking for the newspaper in the pencil. Our pencils branded with the hope for literacy campaign slogan was what we put in the hands of the children.
The school had just acquired a new piece of land and the children joined us in the tree planting exercise on this piece of land. We planted over 40 trees and urged the children to take personal responsibility for the tree they had planted. Their responsibility was to ensure that the tree was watered every morning when they come in school and every evening before they leave school. The children were more than willing to take up this responsibility. They excitedly planted the trees and watered them so that the trees do not die under the scorching sun that is characteristic of Athi River. They were even more excited to take photos while planting the trees. This is a memory that can never be taken away from them.
Our mission as an organization is to reach 1 million children with the pencil and the Children of Creative Minds School were privileged to be part of this vision. The look of satisfaction and gratitude on the faces of the children and their teachers assured us that our mission for that day was accomplished. By donating pencils to these children, we ensure that they get to stay in school and have access to quality learning. This way, we provide inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all.
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