August 29th was the start of a new school year and a new school for Drew! He started first grade at Cite Lumiere Christian School (which offers grades 1-12). The school is less than a mile away from our house and this (or my four-wheeler) is his mode of transportation:
He has been anticipating the start of first grade for a while for many reasons: the biggest being an English-speaking/American-style school. While he enjoyed things about his Haitian Kindergarten, there were things he didn’t enjoy that much. He really liked his teacher there, liked learning to write in cursive and learning to read French. He had an excellent opportunity to learn Creole and he speaks so well! On the down side, he found it hard to make friends there: he didn’t like that the kids always wanted to drink out of his water bottle and that they were always touching him. Haitian school is a lot more monotonous; much more about memorization and recitation. Drew would tell you it was not as “fun.” Overall, it was a great experience for him, but he was always looking forward to the day he could start first grade at CLCS.
Here is Drew ready for school! Braden and Tessa had to get in on the photo-taking action.
There are 6 kids in Drew’s class: four first-graders and two second-graders. It is an international mix! There are two kids from the US and English is their first language. Another girl is from Germany, but has been learning English for a few years now. Two siblings just arrived here from Germany and they speak only a handful of English words. And one boy is Haitian, his Mom is South African (I think, don’t quote me on that!) and both Creole and English are spoken in their home. Quite a mix! Drew’s teacher tells me she’s already had Drew translate into Creole for his Haitian classmate to help clarify some things!
The first day of school started with a chapel service for the entire school where the students were challenged with “as for me and my class we will serve the Lord.” At the end, the incoming first graders were presented with a gift, which is a German tradition.
Drew’s teacher is Miss Renee. She has a neat story how God led her to Haiti. Last fall, she came for 6 weeks to teach ESL to adults at another ministry here called SEED (an agronomy school.) She loved Haiti so much, she ended up staying thru December helping teach at CLCS. She had graduated with a teaching degree from Illinois State but wasn’t feeling led into public school teaching. Last fall, God showed her why. He wanted her here in Haiti!
Here is Drew in front of his school and with his teacher:
Would you pray for Drew and his class, Miss Renee, and CLCS this year?