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Dreaming beyond a safe space and toys

Pic for LR Blogi-ACT—thanks to our funders, collaborations with early childhood education experts, and refugee leaders—has been able to be creative, ambitious and comprehensive in developing an early childhood education curriculum that builds the cognitive, physical and language development of children in the Darfuri refugee camps. We’ve been able to dream far beyond just providing a safe space and toys – and I think it shows.

Results from our Little Ripples one year assessment show substantial improvements in education milestone. Here is a roundup of the changes we captured in students from baseline measurements to their one year follow up assessment.

The percentage of children who could successfully:

  • Name colors increased from 27% to 51%
  • Count to 5 or higher increased from 43% to 73%
  • Identify 4 or more animals from pictures increased from 21% to 63%
  • Recite at least the first 10 letters of the alphabet with no mistakes increased from 45% to 83%

Each time we visited Little Ripples over the past year, I always found students to be more alert and more engaged during class time. My observations always led me to believe Little Ripples was creating change. While nothing can compare seeing children in person and thriving, I must say I’m just as giddy to see that change demonstrated through measured learning indicators and across a large sample of students.

Learning in Daily Life
Now, we want to keep expanding upon these positive results. Since this is a community based program, and we know that the opportunities for children to learn go beyond the confines of the classroom, Little Ripples will begin to emphasize the involvement of parents and caregivers in their child’s learning. Caregivers will be invited to orientations and monthly meetings so that they can be informed and taught how Little Ripples is developing their children and some basic ways in which they can do the same at home and in their daily life. We want to make sure that caregivers, who we have observed to be extremely loving and dedicated to their children, realize how much of a difference simple activities such as talking about animals, numbers, and colors can make in their child’s life.

Intrigued!? Keep reading! Learn more about Little Ripples and how you can be apart of improving the development of children in the U.S. and in the refugee camps.


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Sara-Christine Dallain

Sara-Christine Dallain holds a B.A. in Political Science from the University of Hawaii at Manoa and a Masters in Public Health from the University of California, Los Angeles. Through her previous work with Direct Relief; Réseau Africain d’Education pour la Santé (RAES) in Senegal, Africa; and Board Member of Chad Relief Foundation; Dallain brings on-the-ground insight and experience in program design, evaluation, and implementation for health and education projects in sub-Saharan Africa. As i-ACT Director of Programs, she manages the development, implementation, and evaluation of i-ACT programs in refugee camps, serves as the organization’s primary grant writer, contributes greatly to social media and marketing content, collaborates with and oversees program volunteers, and supports i-ACT development and fundraising initiatives. Dallain has been working in both southern and eastern Chad refugee camps since 2011, and is one of the staff members regularly traveling to eastern Chad refugee camps and global conferences.

 

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