Liberia: Enrich the Mind Foundation Keeps Students Learning During COVID-19 Pandemic, Create Workbook for Newport Junior High Students

Monrovia — A pro education organization, Enrich the Mind Foundation (ETM) in response to the closure of school due to the COVID-19 pandemic has developed a workbook for students of the Matilda Newport Junior High School. The workbook is designed to keep students learning while they are out of school.

The Matilda Newport Junior High School had earlier been adopted by ETM, in partnership with the Ministry of Education to benefit from several projects including the refurbishment of the school's library, installation of computer and science laboratories and the complete renovation of the school.

The workbooks were developed for students of Grades Seven, Eight and Nine and cover Mathematic, English and Science subjects, most of which is a review of what the students were taught during the school year.

According to Dr. Wehmah Jones Orr, Co-founder of ETM, the workbook include practice problems and answers so that students can check their understanding of the topics.

Students will be asked to complete the lessons and turn in the workbooks when school reopens. Dr. Orr indicated that the initiative is a pilot project.

"Our team will follow up with the principal and students to assess the usefulness of the workbooks and if these materials are helpful, we will seek funding to create additional workbooks," Dr. Orr said.

"We will also train the teachers on how to use the workbooks as a tool to assess and improve student learning." If successful, ETM hopes to provide this resource to schools across the country and expand the content to include the elementary and senior high school curricula."

Meanwhile, at the presentation of the workbook on Friday, ETM's Country Representative, Ruby Martin thanked stakeholders and partners including the Ministry of Education, the Monrovia Consolidated School System (MCSS) and Rep. Solomon C. George whose Constituency (District #7, Montserrado County) hosts the Newport Junior High School for their effort in making the project a success.

Mrs. Martin said the foundation's long term goal is to raise fund to build a state of an art library and learning center that will serve all schools in Central Monrovia. The plans also include the establishment of libraries learning labs across the country.

Rep. George thanked ETM for the selection of the school and pledged his unflinching support to the organization in implementing its projects.

Speaking further, he said the partnership with the school will be a milestone in improving the educational sector of Liberia and urged stakeholders to join hands in making it a success.

The Principal of Newport Junior High, James Garlo, Sr, hailed the partnership between his institution and ETM, and pledged that the books will be used exclusively by the students.

About the ETM Foundation

Enrich the Mind Foundation was founded in 2018. Its primary goal is to help improve student academic outcomes, with a focus on literacy.

Dr. Orr noted the foundation believes where and how students learn is just as important as what they learn.

"Our foundation is dedicated to increasing the youth literacy rate and to improving the teaching and learning conditions in schools across Liberia."

The foundation's model for working with schools involves a multi-year holistic school development approach that addresses four key areas including infrastructure, instructional and learning Materials, staff capacity building and parent and community engagement.

As part of its work with Matilda Newport Jr. High, ETM has already made improvements to the school's infrastructure by renovating the library and creating space for a computer lab.

Next steps will include shipping books and computers to furnish the library and computer lab, developing and piloting a plan to integrate technology into student lessons, and training teachers on best practices for instruction.

According to the founder, Jeremiah Brobleh, a long-term goal of the foundation is to construct a state-of-the art library and learning center that will offer resources and learning opportunities to students across the city.

Brobleh said this is an ambitious goal that will require the right partners and significant financial support, but the team is optimistic that the project will become a reality.

In addition, the foundation has also planned to expand their model for improving teaching and learning conditions to school districts across the country.

"Although we have started our work in Monrovia, we want to make sure that no student is left behind," Brobleh averred.

"We are committed to working with the Ministry of Education to support schools across the country and ensure that all students are getting the resources and support that they need to succeed."

Meanwhile, to learn more about the foundation, their work with Matilda Newport Jr. High School, and the plans for the state-of-the art library and learning center, visit their website - www.enrichthemind.org.

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