One of the most rewarding parts of living here is seeing the joy on our children's faces as they learn to read. Although English is a required subject in Zambia and all of the national exams are written in English, the actual practice of teaching students strategies for how to read is not widespread in the Zambian school systems. When teachers begin to work in the Legacy Academies they often have had little training in phonics and reading methods.
In July, at our Legacy Academy in Garden, a Teach ONE team trained our teachers and began a pilot program for implementing a new phonics curriculum in our schools. It was fun hearing our students learn and practice letter sounds as well as seeing the growth of our teachers' skills. It is exciting seeing the students beginning to develop the ability to read independently.
At the end of the term I was at Garden to check up on the reading progress with the students there. This job has stretched me in many ways. When I taught for the DoD, improving reading was one of the school goals. We did lots of interventions and assessments, and I was always secretly glad I wasn't working with the lower grades and giving the long assessments like the DRA (Developmental Reading Assessment) to all the students. Well, like I said, life in Zambia is always stretching me. The only reading assessment we had immediately available was a DRA kit someone had donated, so I found myself sitting in a classroom giving the DRA to a whole lot of grade 1-3 students in that school. Fortunately, we have some of the cutest kids ever and they can even make giving an assessment enjoyable. They are so precious and have made incredible progress!
I am so proud of the teachers and students the Legacy Academy in Garden. They have been working very hard and I love seeing how much our students are learning and growing. After I gave the assessment to one boy he told me, "My sponsor would be very proud of me." I know he's right!
"Anything is a prayer of surrender that will spark something. A prayer that will move us to stop chasing things that just make us feel happy and start living a life that matters. A life that is surrendered, reckless, and courageous." ~Jennie Allen, Anything.
In November of 2013 I moved to Zambia as a full-time missionary with Family Legacy Missions International. Everyone within the organization raises their own support to keep overhead costs at a minimum so donations to the ministry can go directly to the needs and programs for the orphans and vulnerable children we serve. I trust in God's faithfulness to provide monthly and one-time financial supporters for the work I do here for the education of thousands of children from the slum compounds of Lusaka. If you would like to support me, donations are tax deductible and can be made at www.familylegacy.com/alicia
"God made my life complete when I placed all the pieces before Him. When I cleaned up my act, He gave me a fresh start. Indeed, I've kept alert to God's ways; I haven't taken God for granted. Every day I review the way He works, I try not to miss a trick. I feel put back together, and I'm watching my step. God rewrote the text of my life when I opened the book of my heart to His eyes." 2 Samuel 22:25