The Executive Director of Youth Action International (YAI) Dr. Kimmie Weeks has announced the arrival of a consignment of educational supplies set to benefit close to 10,000 pre-primary school aged children.
The program is part of one of YAIâ€™s program for pre-primary aged students known as the â€œLiberian Early Childhood Accelerated Practice-based Training Program (LECAPT).â€
The program also is providing ongoing training and support to close to 400 pre-school teachers. Dr. Weeks says the program is part of YAIâ€™s first step towards a nationwide early childhood development initiative that helps Liberian children build a strong foundation.
Youth Action International has been implementing LECAPT in Liberian schools for the third year running. In 2009, the program was introduced to a small group of about 20 schools. Each of the schools received some training and materials for their students. In 2010, YAI widened the reach of its program to benefit more than 400 teachers in 75 schools. Each of the teachers underwent an intensive training led by renowned early childhood development experts Ken Jaffe and Leslie Falconer. In addition each school in the program received thousands of dollarsâ€™ worth of curriculum guides, books, music, art work, and other assorted supplies.
Madam Helena Carter serves as Project Officer for LECAPT noted that the program was transformative for both students and teachers alike. Carter, who continues ongoing training and support with each of the schools observed: â€œwhen you visit the schools you can see the positive changes.
The students have materials to work with, the teachers have things to give their children, and the children can take the things they learn and take back home for their parents see. â€œCarter says the LECAPT program is intended to make learning fun for Liberian children.
For his part, Executive Director Kimmie Weeks said that it was his organizations goal to make sure that every Liberian child had access to the program before they reached the first grade. â€œWe are creating a new age in Liberia. Itâ€™s a new point when everybody has access to well trained teachers and the best materials. It is no longer just for the rich schools, but we want it to reach the poorest schools in the poorest communities.â€ Weeks said.
Youth Action International is an international organization working in post war African countries including Liberia, Sierra Leone and Uganda. The organization has a mission to provide education, health care and economic empowerment to children and young people.