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Planning and Preparing for the Teacher Training

Today was such a productive day! The team got the chance to talk with a few of the primary teachers today. Ahmed Hassan Yagoub, who teaches first year students (students who are between the ages of 6-8 years of age) was especially helpful. Jocelyn and I had many questions about the daily teaching routine. Ahmed was able to provide us with insight into the primary grade students daily schedule. We also had great discussion about the current lack of education for younger children in the camp and how we might fill that gap. We discussed the benefits of providing a safe place for children to learn and introducing young children to concepts, such as, shapes, colors, letters, and numbers which will better prepare them for primary school. We also talked about the importance of including songs and movement and learning through play. What Ahmed described was not very different from the ideas that we hope to incorporate into Little Ripples. Equally important was the conversation about instilling values such as, making friends, solving conflicts, peace, helping and sharing. Our talk was very beneficial in helping the team understand the current education practices in the primary school and how Little Ripples may approach learning and align concepts.

The second part of the morning was spent meeting with the translators who would be helping Jocelyn and I during the teacher training. We met with three beautiful young women translators; Karima who is 16 years old and Halima Ousman Ibrhim and Zeniab All Homad, who are both 14 years old. This was quite an experience! We had a bit of difficulty (to put it mildly) trying to communicate our needs for the training. It went a bit smoother when the girls became more comfortable opening up to us. Though understanding each others language was tough, the meeting was really helpful. It gave us great insight into the training that we have planned. We have realized that we will need to make some adjustments to what we will present but we are still ecstatic to get started and confident that it will be a success! With each piece of the puzzle that is this project, we learn, grow in wisdom, and continue to move forward. I can’t wait to see what wonderful things transpire tomorrow as we press on.


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Melissa Holcombe

Melissa Holcombe is currently working as a My Teaching Partner Coach and Assessor in collaboration with First 5 California, the Child Development Training Consortium and Teachstone, Inc. Additionally, Melissa enjoys her adjunct position as a Child Development Instructor at San Bernardino Valley College. She holds a Masters of Education degree with a focus on early education and care. Melissa has twenty years of experience in the child development and education field. She is a member of the California Early Childhood Mentor Program and serves as a local/regional trainer. One of Melissa’s passions is developing and facilitating fun, interactive ECE workshops to teachers on topics related to increasing the quality of teaching in early child development classrooms. Melissa is excited to serve as an Expert Teacher Advisor on the Little Ripples project and is honored to be part of a wonderful project that will provide preschool services to thousands of children in Darfuri refugee camps.


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