Sep 05, 2021 News
Kaieteur News – Ruchanna Lowenfield, 26, is a trained teacher attached to the New Diamond/Grove Primary School. Lowenfield was born and raised in the community of Albouystown in Georgetown. “Growing up in Albouystown wasn’t easy at all,” she says.
She goes on to say that, the youths of the area were always labelled as “being ghetto children” and people never expected anything good of them. Most of the youths in the community were left unattended due to parents working and because of that, many of the male youths ended up in gangs and the females became teenage mothers and in most cases, single parents.
Lowenfield says her parents were different. They never wanted their six children to fall into any of those categories. They never wanted their children to be a product of Albouystown. Due to that, they ensured that they moved all of their children out of that environment and ensured that each child got an education.
In 2006, when Lowenfield’s mom finished building their home in Diamond Housing Scheme, East Bank Demerara, they moved there. Growing up, her passion was always to become a nurse. Sadly, when she applied for the position, she was not accepted. As time went by Lowenfield was unable to find a job. One day Lowenfield and her mom went to an event where they saw Lowenfield’s primary school teacher. She said her mother used that opportunity to speak with her teacher and mentioned that she was job hunting, and from there, her journey started in the teaching profession.
When talking about her journey, she remembered what her aunt who passed away had told her that she sees her as a Head Teacher when she grows up. She told this paper, “I guess my aunt knew what she was saying all along, because now I’m a teacher at the New Diamond/Grove Primary School and on September 29 I will be celebrating seven years of teaching.”
Ms. Lowenfield goes on to say that now she not only enjoys teaching but also enjoys reading, cooking, travelling, meeting and spending time and interacting with friends and family members also.
She says that the idea for the ‘Educate Me Summer Camp’ came to her in June 2020 but it only became fully developed in March 2021. She said she created this programme because she saw how her neighbours and close relatives were struggling with helping their children with their school work, and thus designed the programme to help parents have an idea or some sort of knowledge in helping their children and being involved in their education, especially by learning more about the school’s curriculum and how it works.
She also noted that parents benefit by becoming more confident about the value of school involvement, and also develop a greater appreciation for the important role they play in their children’s education. Many parents have been struggling since the beginning of the pandemic and still are, with their children’s schoolwork; and many are not familiar with the work or concepts that are being taught.
During the months of the July/August vacation, the young teacher hosted a two week-programme. There, she said, parents were taught the basics of both Language Arts and Mathematics and at the end of the programme; there was a closing exercise where each parent received a certificate of completion.
There was also a one-week summer camp held for parents from August 16, 2021 to August 20, 2021 at New Diamond/Grove Primary School free of charge, where ten parents of primary school children showed up. The ten parents of the children were very grateful and appreciative of this initiative and opportunity. All COVID-19 protocols were followed and were in full effect.
Ms. Lowenfield says she intends to make this an annual programme and hope to motivate other schools and teachers to be a part of this initiative. The Educate Me Summer Camp intends to include the early childhood and secondary parents in the near future. By 2022, she also hopes to have the Ministry of Education, Guyana Teachers’ Union, teachers and parents from Regions One to Ten participate in this programme.
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