New Ideas for a New Year
We have lots of new and exciting activities going on in our afternoon program at Liberia Mission! Students attend school in the morning, eat lunch and have a few minutes of rest and then join our afternoon program. The students first work for one hour on our farm each weekday. In addition to learning how to plant and maintain crops, students also learn how to raise and take care of animals, such as cows, pigs, goats, donkeys, and sheep.
While gaining appreciation of a job well done, students develop the work ethic required to be successful, particularly in the area of agriculture—a very important sector of Liberia’s growing economy. We also supplement this physical labor with various activities introduced below that serve to enrich our students’ appreciation of faith and education.
Here is what are students are up to each afternoon:
On Monday we start the week off right with our Faith Talk, led by our lay missioners Grace Miller and John Young. It is a moment that the students can ask questions and get to know more about the Catholic faith. We will soon be heading into the season of Lent, so we really want our students to have a clear understanding of its importance to the faith.
On Tuesdays we utilize our science lab for our Science Activity. So far we have all learned about electromagnetism by making an electromagnet from batteries, electrical wires, and nails. We also learned the science behind spiciness as we investigated which substance—water, milk, soda, or bread—has been proven to cool the effects of hot pepper…milk won! Right now we are still waiting for our “depression flower garden” to grow from our salt, bluing, water, and charcoal mixture. So every Tuesday we try to have a little fun learning about simple scientific concepts that we can demonstrate with materials we can find around the mission.
On Wednesdays we go into our mission’s library to read novels for one hour. The students have all selected a book appropriate to their respective reading levels, and they read them in silence during our Reading Hour. At the beginning of the activity, we usually review some tips on how to become better readers. When someone finishes his/her book, they will give a book report and receive a special prize! So we thank God for the opportunity to have a library with so many books!
We strengthen our spelling on Thursdays during our Spelling Bee. The students form teams and go head-to-head in a competition that, in addition to making us all better spellers, is also a lot of raucous fun!
On Friday the students take a quiz on all the material covered during the week’s activities. If they score well enough, then they receive a sweet reward (candy!). So far the vast majority of all the students have always received candy, and this is definitely encouraging!
It Is Not All Work…
The spirit of the new year and new beginnings is alive and well here at Liberian Mission, and our afternoon program really reflects a collected effort to strengthen our core values. But, we have a lot of fun, too! We play volleyball, soccer, kickball, and even basketball sometimes! There are many ways for us to enhance the quality of our lives; and for that opportunity, we give all thanks and glory to God!