KDSL Global interviews Literacy Leader Jacob Sule

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KDSL Global recently had an opportunity to connect with literacy leader Jacob Sule. Jacob is the founder of iRead To Live Initiative, a non-profit organization that focuses on achieving the UN Sustainable Development Goals of Quality Education in Nigeria. He was recently named one of 30 literacy leaders named to the International Literacy Association’s (ILA) 2019 30 Under 30 list.

 

 

Tell us about the iRead To Live Initiative, why it’s important, and some of the accomplishments of the non-profit. 

We are a team dedicated to serving the course of humanity by giving back to the society by promoting and enlightening the community on the importance of education, supplementing government efforts in achieving the Sustainable Development Goal of Quality Education in Nigeria, and inspiring students to imbibe a reading culture.

As a Non Governmental Organization, we are focusing on advocating for quality education and improved learning conditions in both government and private owned schools. This is in accordance of the Vision 2030 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). As a team, we also share the same philosophy that education is a tool with which one can change the world for the best.

WHAT WE DO

We are currently working in Ifetedo community, Ife South Local Government, Osun State Nigeria with the management and teachers of public cchools, by volunteering to teach different topics and subjects in various schools, providing students with textbooks, exercise books, writing materials and other educational materials to aid the learning process.

In promoting and enlightening the community on the importance of Education, we adopted the Parent Teacher Association meeting strategies, where parents, teachers and notable stakeholders hold meetings often times to discuss and sensitize parents and guardians on the need to enroll their children and wards in school(s) rather than using them as laborers on their farmlands knowing fully that farming is predominant in the community.

OUR MISSION

Promoting and advocating for quality and equitable education for all, connecting rural areas by organising academic and extracurricular events.

OUR VISION

To supplement government efforts in achieving the sustainable development goals of quality education in Nigeria.

OUR FOCUS

We have a desire to reach out to the Nigerian and African child that deserves quality education and self-empowerment; as well as mental alacrity but with less or no capacity to attain the feat.

As young people who are tired of continued neglect of children in rural communities, we decided to ensure that every child, regardless of their backgrounds, in Nigeria must continue to have unhindered access to quality and equitable education. As a non-profit organization, we have consistently engaged government to ensure that it does not neglect its responsibility of providing quality education to all Nigerians.

Though as a relatively young organization, we have been able to accomplish the following:

  1. Launch of iRead To Live Maiden Quiz Competition for Schools
  2. Establishment of Reading Clubs in some schools
  3. Purchase and donation of writing materials, textbooks and other educational materials
  4. Donation of a wheelchair to a physically challenged Undergraduate Student
  5. We hosted the Maiden Edcamp in Nigeria, 2018
  6. Successfully hosted several oratory and literacy competitions in 2016-2018.

 

 

The International Literacy Association (ILA) named you one of the 30 under 30 for 2019. What does it mean to be a champion of literacy?

The ILA celebrates rising innovators, disruptors and visionaries in the literacy field. As a literacy champion you must have shown commitment and continued passion and be involved in innovative ideas and adventures towards strengthening of literacy in your immediate community. For me, having been named alongside 29 other leaders globally, I have been involved in grassroots literacy campaigns by engaging students in rural communities in Nigeria, creating reading clubs, hosted oratory and literacy competitions.

 

Last year you were the founder of Edcamp Nigeria as a way to empower and ignite teachers in the country. What are your major goals for 2019?

My overall goal for 2019 is to scale up advocacy for literacy, ensure improved access to quality education, and professional development for teachers in Nigeria by embracing 21st century teaching approaches.

Also, I will be working with some other educators globally and within Nigeria for possible collaboration and getting students, teachers, and communities to take more actions in the realization of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals by offering solutions to societal challenges.

This is in furtherance to the proposed launch of a makerspace in Nigeria. The makerspace will be incorporated alongside anAdopt a School Program and built around the SDGs indicators and targets, so that teachers and students can be fully exposed to the SDGs targets.

The Adopt a School Program – I intend to adopt four schools through iRead To Live Initiative. We will deploy educational resources, train teachers, donate writing materials and take more actions on sanitation and hygiene.

 

 

To learn more about Jacob’s work visit:

https://ireadtolive.org
https://twitter.com/sulejacobs
https://twitter.com/iReadInitiative
https://ireadtolive.org/international-literary-association/

 

 

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About Jacob Sule

Jacob is the founder of iRead To Live Initiative, a non-profit organization that focuses on achieving the UN Sustainable Development Goals of Quality Education in Nigeria. He holds a Bachelor’s degree in Public Administration and is nearing completion of his study of Law.

As a leader of Inspire Citizens in Africa, Jacob has consistently advocated for the delivery of SDG 4: Quality Education for every child, launching schools literacy clubs and campaigns, while supporting teacher training and professional learning opportunities in rural areas of Nigeria.

His goal remains empowering all students, teachers, and community members to become educated, impactful, and sustainable thinkers. Jacob is also a featured guest in the Inspire Citizens Activist in ResidenceProgram.

He joined the TEACHSDGs in 2018 as an Ambassador in Teaching the SDGs targets in Schools particularly in rural communities. His continued passion for education in Nigeria made him to host the Maiden Edcamp in Nigeria on December 15th, 2018, a participant-driven session for educators in Osun state, Nigeria for professional development and empowerment.

Jacob’s several literacy advocacies, projects, and campaigns in 2018 earned him the Global recognition as a Literacy Champion alongside 29 other leaders globally.

 

 

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KDSL Global Releases Paper on Arts in MENA American Curriculum Schools

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DUBAI, UAE, 28 January 2019 – KDSL Global today released a paper which examines the implementation of the National Core Arts Standards in the USA and in the MENA region. Published in 2014 as a result of a three-year nationwide collaborative effort, the goal of these standards is to assist teachers in developing PreK-12 curriculum that guides the enhancement of artistic literacy among learners.  KDSL Global is a USA and UAE-based leading learning organization focused on empowering educators and education businesses globally.

Lana Hallmark, arts consultant and paper author stated, “The opportunity to participate in telling the story of the National Core Arts Standards came at a timely moment for me. As I look ahead to the revision of the fine arts academic standards in Arkansas in the coming summer, having this fresh review of the background and goals of the NCAS will be invaluable and will certainly impact this important work for the students in my state.” She co-wrote the paper with Kevin Simpson (KDSL Global Managing Director) and Joyce Huser (the President of the State Education Agency Directors of Arts Education). Huser said, “The 2014 National Core Art Standards (NCAS) for the fine arts have provided a rich and in-depth guide for meeting the learning needs of students at the PreK – 12th grade levels in my state of Kansas as well as in many other states across the nation.  They have also provided a resource for preparing pre-service teachers and guiding experienced educators in developing and providing a holistic arts education. With an emphasis on process-based learning, these standards have had a great impact on enhancing learning and applying real life application to learning.  Students love this.  While it is a challenge for teachers to transition from the old to the new standards, the professional development that has been provided across the nation has been invaluable in meeting the goals and intentions of these standards. I am pleased to have been a part of the writing process and continue to provide quality professional development in helping teachers understand these standards and how to implement them in their instruction.”

The paper features a list of arts resources, case studies, and results from surveys that would provide data regarding the implementation process in the USA. Questions educators and leaders responded to ranged from impression of the standards, timeline, professional development, and more.

The paper can be downloaded at: http://kdslglobal.com/Arts%20in%20MENA%20American%20Curriculum%20Schools.pdf

 

KDSL GLOBAL PRESS CONTACT
+971 52 542 7009
Kevin Simpson, kevin@kdslglobal.com
www.kdslglobal.com

 

MENALearns Portal

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During 2018 the MENALearns Portal will be a new resource for educators at American curriculum schools. Our KDSL Global intern had a chance to chat with the team this past summer about what the portal is, how it is different and future plans.

 

What is MENALearns? 

MENALearns will be an online portal for educators at American curriculum schools based in the Middle East and North Africa region. This is a collaborative effort with Xblended and KDSL Global. It is for educators with resources reviewed, created, and shared by educators. Tools and resources will be related to curriculum, instruction, assessment, professional learning, and more. Six educators from six countries reviewed the initial portal and provided feedback to the team. We call this group our first educators. During the summer of 2018 we collaborated with an educator from the region who served during the month of July with the purpose of reviewing and selecting additional resources for K-12 educators on a wide range of topics. The site will launch later in September 2018. A free introductory webinar will be held on 1 October at 6pm Dubai time. Users will have the option to become a member of the community as a MENALearns Teacher, MENALearns Leader, or a MENALearns School. Special rates for new members will run from October- December 2018.

 

There are many online platforms and resources nowadays. How is MENALearns different from these?

This is very true! We wanted to craft a resource that was specific to educators who are based in the MENA region. Often there are resources from the states with references and images that students and educators may not be able to connect with. Educators who we spoke to openly shared this information. We wanted to have a blended approach with materials from the states along with resources provided from educators in the region. This will grow over time as we encourage educators and leaders to share resources from their schools and classrooms. Also, we asked American curriculum educators in the region where they go to online to access resources to use in planning. A plethora of websites was listed. We then asked what if there was one place where they could access most of the sites they used. All were interested and first users talked about how organized, comprehensive, and easy to navigate the portal was.

 

 

What are the future plans for this portal?

We will see what the future holds. As we receive feedback we will make changes and update information as there is always something new to learn. Our short-term plans is to make as many American curriculum schools and educators aware of the portal as possible in the MENA region. In the future we hope all will be a MENALearns School.

 

 

To stay updated on MENALearns email menalearns@gmail.com. The portal will launch later in September 2018.

 

 

Jenessa Dsilva
KDSL Global Intern
Website: www.kdslglobal.com
Twitter: @KDSL07
Facebook: @KDSL Global

 

KDSL Global Fellow at British Council Forum

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With a rapidly changing world, reflecting on how education brings learning experiences for the next generation to make a lasting difference becomes crucial. As part of the internal forum the British Council held recently in the Dead Sea, Jordan, our fellow Hiba Ibrahim was invited, in addition to another 6 experts in the fields of entrepreneurship, the arts, education and gender equality, to speak to the British Council MENA staff and lead individual workshops on challenges and opportunities the region is to face for the next decade.  Hiba has been involved in projects to create effective solutions to some of those stressing challenges and avenues for international organizations to pursue effective collaboration for creating change. Bringing her educational career, academic research and personal projects to the discussion, Hiba highlighted two main challenges the region’s education has continued to struggle with for decades. The first lies in the fact that national curriculums are still not equipping learners with the knowledge, skills and attitudes they need to be become independent engaged learners. Teachers are still heavily relying on textbooks as curriculum and content coverage is still the learning goal to achieve. Alternatively, learning goals should lie in empowering students with competences that enable them to transfer their learning into unique situations to solve challenges they experience in their local communities and beyond. Hiba then shared about her course project she has been building as part of her fellowship with KDSL Global, which aims to promote design thinking and collaboration strategies to become more effective problem-solvers and globally competent citizens.
The other challenge she highlighted was refugee students with no access to a quality basic education. This has caused a lot of tension in host communities and made 86,000 Syrian students in Jordan and 480,000 others in Lebanon vulnerable. Due to the on-going conflicts in Libya and Yemen, around 2,300,000 children are in need of education. For that, social-emotional learning and professional development programs for teachers and school leaders on social inclusion and dealing with PSTD are a must. Showcasing effective solutions, Hiba highlighted her work with Umnyat for Training, an NGO started by her mother that brings “Labeeb’s Friends”, a program that promotes social emotional learning through storytelling to schools in Jordan and other countries in the region such as Kuwait and Palestine. She also stressed on the positive impact of intercultural dialogue that bring students of different backgrounds to a space where they feel safe and open to share perspectives on topics such as culture, religion, daily life, community, immigration, conflict and challenges to learn how to be more understanding and accepting to one another.
The day was concluded with bringing those conversations into a workshop to inspire the organization’s staff to reflect on solutions they can drive with other stakeholders in the region to take part in the region’s growth and development for the upcoming decade.

Meet our KDSL Global Fellow – Samantha Rodriguez

KDSL Global is pleased to announce our new fellow.  The fellowship focuses on writing, leadership and launching a new education idea.

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Samantha Rodriguez was born and raised in Long Island, New York and graduated from Providence College where she studied Public and Community Service and Political Science. ​Being the first in her family to graduate from college, the value of education was constantly emphasized. Samantha has spent the better part of her life working with youth in different contexts. Since graduating from Providence, Samantha has taught Math in Tsakane, South Africa, was a 9th Grade English Teacher in the South Bronx, has been a College Access Counselor, and is now a Service Learning Program Coordinator for buildOn in Chicago, Illinois. She simultaneously attends graduate school at the University of Illinois at Chicago working towards an MEd in Youth Development. Samantha has always believed that all students are worthy of a strong educational foundation as well as a strong support system that helps them become successful. With her MEd in Youth Development, it is Samantha’s goal to help create spaces that intentionally provide youth with opportunities to develop their interests, skills, and abilities.

 

ABOUT KDSL Global

KDSL Global is a USA and UAE-based leading learning organization focused on empowering educators and education businesses globally. To find out more information visit http://www.kdslglobal.com.

Meet Devin Evans, English Language Arts teacher at Butler College Prep Charter High School


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Devin Evans is a 10th grade English Language Arts teacher at Butler College Prep Charter High School on Chicago’s far South Side. He serves as co-10th grade team lead and master teacher for Butler’s humanities department. He graduated from Michigan State University with a BA in Social Science Education and History and is pursuing a Masters in English Language Arts from Relay Graduate School of Education.

Prior to teaching, Devin worked as a Program Associate for their Workforce Development Center at the historic Chicago Urban League. Devin is a mentor to numerous young men and women across Chicago and is a committed teacher and social justice advocate. Here are his answers to questions about teaching and learning:

How does Butler College Prep help students to become aware of issues like social justice? Is it woven into their learning materials and approach?

There are numerous ways students are aware of social justice issues. One way is through curriculum. Teachers are highly encouraged to add into curriculum projects and content that is rooted an a social justice issue. Whether it’s discovering how much led is in water for Chemistry and figuring out ways to advocate for clean water for Chicago residents or when teachers and staff put on a Town Hall meeting where the entire school comes together to put on an informational and call to action on a pertinent social justice issue. Social Justice is Butler College Prep.

How does Butler College Prep emphasize the arts as well as social justice?

Butler has a way of celebrating the academic side of students and their art. We celebrate academic success with special dinners, celebrations, and opportunities. We celebrate the artistic talent with the same level of appreciation. In many ways students automatically intertwine each interchangeably.

Is it difficult to balance the arts with the amount of learning students must achieve in other subjects to get ready for college?

It can be difficult; however, Butler has found a way to balance both. Students have electives that are arts focused with regular courses and we also have enrichment classes after school that focus on more arts as well. We push academic and artistic and social justice into one campaign to be perfected.

 

To learn more about Butler College Prep visit http://butlercollegeprep.noblenetwork.org/.

What risk are you willing to take?

MidSchoolMath National Conference 2016

MidSchoolMath was founded as a direct result of extensive research into the US math crisis and the complexity of the problem. It is the first company to answer the quintessential question posed by every middle school math student: “When am I going to ever use this?” At the National Conference held during 2-3 March 2018 in Sante Fe, New Mexico, Megan LeBleu gave a talk to educators about the importance of taking risk for math students. Below you will find this talk.

I taught math for 14 years at a middle school in Albuquerque, NM. My colleagues and I spent our planning time modifying our curriculum quite a bit, trying to make lessons accessible to and interesting for our students. In general, though, I was still teaching how I was taught. I do, we do, you do. I was fearful that my students would fail if I didn’t “teach” them first. I didn’t really value what they brought to the table, regarding their own intuition and creative problem solving.

But then 4 years ago, I attended a MidSchoolMath PD. I learned about story being used for learning, about these ideas of productive failure and productive struggle, and it made a lot of sense to me. I was also exposed to the idea of global math education… there ARE actually teachers, math students, and people outside of the U.S… all around the world…

It was then, 4 years ago, that I took a risk that ultimately led my students (and myself) down a path of discovery and learning. I accepted a challenge to create a math story project… a story in which math is embedded as a useful tool. Had I ever thought of using story in math class? No. Had I ever even seen story used in a math class? No. Not like this. The concept was completely foreign to me. Yet I saw value in it for my students… mathematical value and cultural value.

So, I dove into the unknown and created Expedition Everest, where my students would be mountaineers on Everest, encountering significant math problems on their way to the summit. Now let me tell you… My students live in a high-poverty area, riddled with gang violence and drug use. They rarely think outside their neighborhood, much less outside the country. While creating Expedition Everest, and even after, people questioned the relevancy of the topic to my students. How is Mount Everest relevant to students in Albuquerque? And maybe it isn’t…. initially….

But, by taking a risk, stretching myself, thinking outside the textbook… I was able to create mathematically enriching tasks…. Tasks that allowed my students to question, to use their intuition, to offer creative solutions….Tasks that were so intriguing, my students were willing to try, fail, struggle, and persist until they reached a solution. All the while, they were honing their math skills, discussing strategies and ideas, AND at the same time, they were learning about the tallest mountain in the world, about the Sherpa of Nepal, and about an animal called a yak. Their world was now bigger than it was before. And I, I had never had so much fun teaching.

We don’t all have to take our students to Mount Everest as mountaineers. Nor do we have to take them to Myanmar as secret agents. But we can do SOMETHING. Maybe it’s just restructuring the curriculum we currently have. And we might fail. But so did Edwin Link, and his pilots…at first. If WE don’t have the courage to take risks, and to push ourselves to explore the unknown, how can we expect our students to do the same?

As you go forward throughout the school year, consider this: what risk are you willing to take, to give your students, and yourself, the chance to fail, struggle, persist, and grow… as learners, and as global contributors?

Megan LeBleu is a National Board Certified teacher who taught math at a high-poverty middle school in Albuquerque, New Mexico for 14 years. During those years she became a master at collaborating with fellow teachers, making math curriculum engaging and accessible to students. She is highly skilled at integrating technology in the classroom and is well versed in the Common Core math standards. 

To learn more about MidSchoolMath visit  http://www.midschoolmath.com/.
Check out this article about Megan and her math classroom  https://www.abqjournal.com/348546/math-made-fun-with-trip-calculations.html.