Tobre November 2009

Proposal

Post: Tobre
Dates of Project: Late January/ Early February

Brief Project Description:

The 2nd Annual Spelling Bee is a country-wide competition held in local villages and towns. Interested volunteers will facilitate each Spelling Bee in their communities. The competition will be open to students in 4e, 5e, and 6e (roughly 6th through 8th grade students). Each PCV is free to organize their competition in any way they choose as long as they select one boy and one girl finalist who have passing grades in school. The local Spelling Bees will take place in late January/ early February.

The goal of the Bee is to encourage youth to participate in extracurricular activities and to improve English usage in their communities. The time spent studying and preparing for the Bee by students will keep them mentally active an engaged outside of school in a safe and healthy educational activity. Participation in the Spelling Bee will give students a solid foundation of Basic English (i.e. the vocabulary learned) aiding them in their present and future classes. Their new English skills will also help them to pass the B.E.P.C. (exam to pass out of C.E.G.).

Funds from the grant will be uses to buy prizes for the winners at each school (T-shirts, copybooks, dictionaries, pens and other school supplies). These prizes will reward CEG students for their hard work. Prizes will be distributed evenly among participating schools.

Peace Corps Volunteers will be working with local C.E.G.s. They are encouraged to involve as many students, teachers (especially English teachers), and school administration as possible. The costs of running a local Spelling Bee are minimal, encouraging host country nationals to continue the Spelling Bee in years to come. The costs are also completely community funded.

Number of People Involved:

Monica Stam (TEFL) Tobre: sixty students ages 10-18 (an estimated 1/3 will be girls)
Alicia Charleston (SED) Natitingou CEG1 100 students ages 10-18 (an estimated 1/3 will be girls)
Jonny Thompson (EA) Natitingou CEG2 100 students ages 10-18 (an estimated 1/3 will be girls)
Christopher Tsamoydakis (PCVL) Natitingou CEG3 100 students ages 10-18 (an estimated 1/3 will be girls)
Jessica Bruce (SED) Bassila 75 students ages 10-18 (an estimated 1/3 will be girls)
Jamie Bussey (TEFL) Materi 60 students ages 10-18 (an estimated 1/3 will be girls)
Kristin Suwelski (TEFL) Dogbo 75 students ages 10-18 (an estimated 1/3 will be girls)
Heidi Kershner (RCH) Ouake 75 students ages 10-18 (an estimated 1/3 will be girls)
Peace Corps Volunteers will be working with teachers and school administration to facilitate the Bee. A total of 700 students in Benin will actively participate in the Bee.

Budget:

Item Number Cost
T-shirts 30 30.000 CFA
Cahiers 30 15.000 CFA
Pens 50 5.000 CFA
Total Cost 50.000 CFA

Amount Requested: 50.000 CFA

Closing Report

Brief Project Description:
Volunteers worked with HCN counterparts to host 280 CEG students in local Spelling Bee competitions across Benin.

Dates of Project: January - June 2010
Number of People Involved: Spelling Bees had an average of 20 student participants at each school. 14 schools participated making the total participation 280 students (180 boys, 100 girls) and about 28 HCN counterparts (24 men, 4 women)

Goals of Project:
The goal of the Bee is to encourage youth to participate in extracurricular activities and to improve English usage in their communities. The time spent studying and preparing for the Bee by students will keep them mentally active and engaged outside of school in a safe and healthy educational activity. Participation in the Spelling Bee will give students a solid foundation of Basic English (i.e. the vocabulary learned) aiding them in their present and future classes. Their new English skills will also help them to pass the B.E.P.C. (exam to pass out of C.E.G.)

Bees were held at 14 CEGs where 280 Beninese students participated in an English based extracurricular activity improving their English vocabulary and keeping them intellectually active.

Strengths of Project:
Students were very excited to participate in the competition, spending hours studying outside of school. Volunteers worked well with their counterparts and were supported by the school administrations. Counterparts seemed excited to carry this on next year and other CEGs with no local volunteer asked if they could participate next year.

Challenges of Project:
This being a project held throughout Benin it was difficult to keep track of the different Spelling Bees. Next year it would be advisable for volunteers to write a small report to the PCV in charge of the Bee so that certain information (i.e.; participation numbers, names, etc.) can be recorded.

Final Budget:

Item Number Cost
T-Shirts 40 60.000 CFA
Khaki Paper 14 1.050 CFA
Copybooks 28 2.800 CFA
Pens 56 7.000 CFA
Envelopes 50 420 CFA
Scotch tape 1 550 CFA
Markers 14 5.600 CFA
Total Cost 47.420 CFA
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