NewburyportNews.com, Newburyport, MA

Local News

February 11, 2014

Local residents travel to Bura this month

(Continued)

Thaxter will work on an E-learning project at Bura Primary School. This project was begun by GNBA members Ted Van Nahl and Joanna Hammond in 2011. A grant from the International Club at Masconomet High School in Topsfield provided money to buy 25 XO laptop computers. Bura Primary School provided a classroom and the Kenyan government provided electricity to the school as part of the project. GNBA funds a computer teacher and teacher training at the school.

Thaxter, a member of GNBA, has been in Kenya since the end of January. She is the founder of Small Solutions, a nonprofit group located in Newburyport that focuses on using the XO digital platform. She is working with public schools in Kenya that use XO computers in their teaching curriculum. She will spend a week in Bura where she will give computer training to students and teachers.

GNBA’s mission is cultural exchange. The group plans to broaden this exchange by connecting students in our communities with those in Bura via the Internet. To accomplish this, the group is seeking to send two laptop computers that run Windows 7 to Kenya. Anyone who would like to donate a laptop or funds toward this project is asked to call E-Learning Committee member John Whitlow at: 617-571-1776.

GNBA is planning to host two teachers from Bura for a three-week cultural exchange and training program during the 2015 school year. One of the teachers will have computer and E-learning experience. The other teacher will have a special interest in school and community soccer programs. A plan that involves interaction with local teachers and students, as well as the greater Newburyport community, is being developed. Principals and teachers who would like to participate in this program are invited to contact Lee Harris, a member of the Exchange Planning Committee. She can be reached at 978-462-2287.

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