Category Archives: Projects

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EduCAN - Learning Centers

Learning About Learning Centers

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Last night in the village where we live, we held another professional development session for preschool teachers. This week, we added children for part of the session so the teachers could have “hands-on,” authentic experiences. They created learning centers each highlighting 1 of the 25 goals for preschoolers’ development from the Inspire Early Learning Program. For a first run, the night was a smashing success.

Learning centers are a new concept for this area, and the teachers’ enthusiasm is contagious. More than that, the preschoolers had a great time, worked on small and large muscles (motor skills) and had a sensory experience.

Working with other-culture people sometimes pushes us toward finding what is different, but we also see as we live life alongside our Nubian friends that we all want our children to learn, to be happy, to have opportunities. So thankful.


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EduCAN Inspire StoryTime

Inspire: Launching the Pilot

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Remember what started this whole adventure in creating the Inspire Early Learning Program? It’s true that necessity is the mother of invention! One of EduCAN’s primary guiding principles is to practice sustainable development. If that phrase is new to you, one of the things it means is doing development in a way that will outlive your direct involvement.

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Lets get to work

What is Inspire?

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Okay, here we go…let’s get to writing!

The Overview

To give this program shape, I have to answer the question, “What is the Inspire Early Learning Program?” Basically, it’s a simple introduction to the principles of early childhood development. It’s an accessible approach to providing quality and meaningful learning experiences for young children. Consider it a guide to helping adults develop their young learner’s basic skills they need to embark on the life-long quest of building knowledge. It seeks to lay a solid foundation that prepares children to enter the more formal environment of “school.”

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Inspire Early Learning Program — 5 Areas of Development

The Inspire Early Learning Program Is Born

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I don’t think “a preschool program for villages” makes a very good title. I thumb through my mental thesaurus for single words that have a positive connotation for education. As I think of each one, I immediately do a Google search to see it’s taken. Of course it’s taken—it’s a great word! This happens over and over, but I do not give up.

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Village near Aswan

“We need a preschool program for villages”

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Pam, my wife, and I live in Aswan, Egypt in a small Nubian village along the Nile. I am privileged to serve on the board of a local organization that does community development. As we sat in the board meeting, the director said, “We need a preschool program for villages.”

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GhS-Reading-Foundation

Reading Foundation

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“We need an ABCs class!” The director of our local partner organization, Community Development Ministry, came to me asking if we could help with an “ABCs class.” A local village wanted to know the best way to teach the ABCs. As I thought about that request, I realized, there’s so much more to it than just the ABCs. I suggested we title the series of workshops, “Building a Foundation for Reading…It’s more than just the ABCs.” She agreed and we set out putting the workshop together.

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Zanzibar Educators

Zanzibar: What Great Teachers Do Differently

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In cooperation with Zanzibar’s Department of Education and local company Aslan Associates, EduCAN Development Corporation conducted a week-long series of international professional development workshops for 25 local educators. Todd Whitaker’s insightful book, “What Great Teachers Do Differently: 17 Things That Matter Most” (2011) served as the starting point for the course.

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