Partner School creates new activity to help students engage, find their voices

 In community, General, Partner Schools, Quality Schools Program, Reports, Stories of Change

This video is from our Partner School, Bèl Platon Community School. Bèl Platon is our most remote parter, located about a day’s journey from Haiti’s capital, on the island of Lagonav in the Bay of Port-au-Prince.

Like schools everywhere that care about students becoming actively engaged in their own learning, Bèl Platon struggles to help students become comfortable speaking up and engaging in group activities. What you see in this video – they call it, “Word Space” – is an activity they created to address this very problem.

Each morning at the start of the school day, everyone – both students and teachers – gather in a large “Word Space” circle, take some relaxing breathes, and playfully greet each other and/or share a few words with the group. As you can tell, it’s a fun way to start the school day and has become a popular morning ritual. And, in the process, it has gone a long way to help students feel more at ease speaking up in front of others and participating in group activities.

We are thrilled to see this sort of thing from our Haitian colleagues. In traditional schools in Haiti, they specifically don’t want students to speak up (unless they’re reciting something…) At Bèl Platon, not only did they identify student silence and lack of engagement as a problem, but they spearheaded an original, fun, engaging, and participatory activity to address it. Chapo ba zanmi nou! (“Hats off friends!”)

Haiti Partners and our partners at Bèl Platon are very grateful to our friends at Schools Count Corp. for their ongoing generous support of the school’s meal program, especially at this challenging time, as we are to all our supporters whose contributions make our partnership with Bèl Platon possible. Thank you! We couldn’t do it without you!

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