On February 12th we will go from a preschool of 26 to 75. This means 49 more faces that will learn English, 49 more students we get to say “kiss your brain” to, and 49 more hearts who will not only be taught how to read, write, and count, but who will, more importantly, be taught about the love and grace of Jesus. Not only will they receive an education while in the gates of the James Place, but every student who graduates from the James Place Preschool has a shot at a successful higher education! Preschool in Uganda is equivalent to kindergarten in America.
In this past week alone, we have done over 100 interviews with children looking to join our school. Most of these children have come to KIDS Club weekly for years, live in our neighboring villages like Ripon and the Works, and come from single-parent households who cannot afford the government schools. The majority of those we interviewed know little to no English. Our team of teachers has worked hard to hear each person’s story and choose the children who are in the greatest need. The hardest part is knowing that some who are in the greatest need will still not receive a spot.
Not only will the James Place Preschool be at a large discount compared to government schools, but it will have a teacher to student ratio of 1:8. In Uganda, most classrooms have between 90 to 100 students and only 1 or 2 teachers. Our teachers are working to create a curriculum specific to each learning level and individualized to each student.
We believe that children who might not have a chance of education elsewhere should be given a chance in the gates of the James Place. Education is the key to so much in Uganda, but more than anything we believe a Christ-centered education is the key to success. We pray that these small hands grow to be Christian leaders in their community. We hope that they grow to be teachers, mothers, fathers, doctors, and lawyers who lead their nation with the love of Christ. We hope that more than building success on this earth, they will use their lives to build the kingdom of God.