Public School Number 56
Dear Sir or Madam,
My name is Sarah Weldon, and I am teaching English at Public School Number 56, in Vake, as part of the ‘Teach and Learn in Georgia’ project (http://www.tlg.gov.ge/). I have been at my school since January 2011, and prior to this, I was teaching in Samtskikhe-Javakheti. I love my school very much, and have decided to stay for at least one more year. I am originally from Henley-On-Thames in England (between London and Oxford).
I am writing to you with a proposal, which I hope you will be delighted to take part in, and which would benefit your company and your staff.
Basically I am looking for a one off donation from you of 7,000GEL (one package), to be made before the start of July 2011. In exchange for your financial support, you will receive:
• 10 English lessons, for 25 people per lesson, for one hour a week, over ten weeks.
• Lessons will take place after school (at a convenient time for you), in term time, and at school number 56 in Vake (in your sponsored classroom where possible).
• English course book, and work book (lessons will be aimed at beginners, intermediate, or advanced level students, or specific business English, dependant on your company’s needs).
• Tuition will be with a native English speaker, and a Georgian or Russian speaking Co-teacher.
• A Classroom sponsored by yourselves, and with your logo and name on the walls and outside the door. If you wish, your staff can come to school during the summer holidays to assist the children with decorating the classroom. This room can be used for publicity if you wish. Your staff will also benefit by participating in this project, and if they wish, can ‘mentor’ the children of that class. You can chose the theme, and colours of the classroom to reflect your company and logo if you wish.
• Your name and logo on our ‘project’ t-shirts, sweatshirts, and sun hats, which we will wear on our expeditions and for publicity events.
• We will wear our ‘project’ clothes on the aeroplane and during our school trips to Batumi, Abastumani, England, and Spain.
• We will give ‘project’ clothing to the British children involved in the project, for them to wear.
• We will take your logo with us on our expeditions, and take a photo that you can use for publicity. For example, on the London Eye, at the London Aquarium, next to Big Ben, on board the ship in Spain, etc.
• You will get a special mention in our school blog: http://56dreamers.wordpress.com/
• A thank you note to your company, inside every book that your money buys for your classroom or for the library.
• Publicity and viewings of your classroom and logo during a school open day prior to school starting in September. The children will put on a concert, and we will invite the media to this event. You may, if you wish, purchase items of furniture or other items for your class, such as pens and paper, white boards, a clock, cd player, new desks, and so forth. These will be acknowledged and parents and friends will see these during the open day visit before term starts.
• On October 29th we will organise a party at school, as a way for the children to raise money towards their spending money for their excursions. We will display any promotional material that you give us during this event, and you may donate prizes if you wish, and take photos.
• You may also donate promotional material for us to display on a ‘thank you’ board in the school entrance, for all visitors to see when they arrive.
• You may also wish to donate leaflets or your product for children to take as ‘gifts’ for their host families in the UK. For example, a bottle of wine from your vineyard and a letter for how they can buy this product in the future, or discount vouchers for their future visits to Georgia.
The more packages you purchase, the larger the advertising space you will receive on our sponsored clothes, and the more lessons you will be entitled to, and more classrooms you will have dedicated and named after you. There will be 60 packages in total! We will be inviting various artists to oversee the decoration of each classroom, and you may invite your own designer or artist to work with the children, teachers, and parents if you wish.
Your donation will cover all of the following school projects, and make a massive difference to everyone at the school, and within the local community:
– Extreme Classroom Makeover Project (During Summer 2011).
– Library Renovation Project (During Summer 2011).
– BBC Oceans Project (During Autumn Term).
– Christmas Exchange Visit to Henley On Thames (December 2011).
– Spring Exchange Visit for British Students (Spring 2012).
– Spanish Dolphins Project (Summer 2012).
Please find further details of each project below. We will be happy to meet with you to discuss things further, and are also looking to set up a project bank account, if you can help us with that. We very much look forward to working with your company in the future, with best wishes
Please contact me via email, or through Public School Number 56.
I am in the process of translating this document into Georgian, so please bare with me!!
Extreme Makeover Summer 2011 Project:
Week 1: 28th June – 3rd July 2011.
Week 2: 4th July – 8th July 2011.
Week 3: 11th July – 15th July 2011.
Week 4: 18th July – 22nd July 2011.
Week 5: 25th July – 29th July 2011.
Aims: for children to take ownership of their classroom, to develop respect for their classroom and its contents, to promote teamwork and leadership, to learn practical skills, to create a fun and stimulating learning environment, to practice English language skills over the summer period, to build confidence amongst children with lower self esteem, to foster a nurturing relationship between staff and students, and students and peers. To learn about recycling and budgeting. To promote parental involvement within the school.
Project: Parents, sponsors, teachers, students, and local artists will come to school during their free time over the summer holiday, and will clean their classroom, come up with designs for their new classroom, and begin the transformation of their class. Those involved will bring cleaning utensils, old paints, plants, toys, curtains, books, furniture, and other items from home, and together they will decide which items to use in their design.
Parents and company sponsors will be invited to participate for the week, helping with redecoration, and supervising children. They will also be encouraged to bring food and drink to share with the class, and if there are sufficient numbers then there will be football matches and games during the rest periods from decorating.
Every class must come up with its own ‘Reading Corner’ and area for displaying notices and artwork. If funding allows, each class will purchase items of school related furniture, such as a drawer for each student, beanbag, new hangers for coats, a selection of pens and paper for children to use in future lessons. If possible, it would be nice for every classroom to have its own laptop, printer, speakers, projector, and cd player, which can be kept in a locked cupboard by the teacher when not in use.
We will ask the Public Relations department at the Ministry of Education and Science to come in and film progress over the week, which can be used by sponsors in their own publicity. At the start of the new term, we will organise an ‘opening ceremony’, with food, dancing, and songs, and will invite the media along for the day.
Sponsors will have their English lessons in this classroom after school if the room is large enough.
Library Renovation Project (Summer 2011):
Along the same lines as the classroom renovations, except that this will be a more challenging task. The library is currently not in use, and the books are very old (Soviet era and mostly in Russian). The room is very dusty, and there are few bookcases for storage. It is hoped that we can completely clean and style this room, to make a room which can be permanently open for student use, and which will be staffed by teachers who have a free lesson, on a rotational basis. We would like to purchase a computer and printer for this room, that children and teachers can use to carry out research on the internet, and to purchase books for each department. Each subject will have its own selection of books, and there will be a special section especially for teachers. Any teaching material can be stored here, along with large paper and marker pens for class work, and a cd player that can be borrowed for classes. This room will be renamed after the company which sponsors it.
BBC Oceans Project 2011 (Term Time):
Week 1: 19th September – 23rd September 2011
Week 2: 26th September – 30th September 2011.
Week 3: 3rd October – 7th October 2011.
Week 4: 10th October – 14th October 2011.
Week 5: 17th October – 21st October 2011.
Week 6: 24th October – 28th October 2011.
Week 7: 31st October – 4th November 2011.
Week 8: 7th November – 11th November 2011.
Week 9: 14th November – 18th November 2011.
Week 10: 21st November – 25th November 2011.
Week 11: 28th November – 2nd December 2011.
1) The Sea of Cortez (hydrothermal vents, sperm whales, Humboldt squid, sea lions,
scallop diving, shipwreck, hammerhead sharks).
2) The Southern Ocean (geology, kelp forests, sea dragons, caves, fossils, currents,
octopus, shipwreck, seals, lobsters).
3) The Red Sea (rifts, geology, heat tolerant corals, fluorescent corals, underwater
village, Jaques Cousteau, shipwreck, rare fish, human settlements, archaeology).
4) The Atlantic Ocean (Black hole, lionfish, Royal Navy, shipwrecks, sharks, human
remains, aracheology, stromatolites, Gulf stream).
5) The Indian Ocean (manta rays, coral nursery, conservation, shipwreck, dugong,
shark fishing, argo float).
6) The Indian Ocean: Coastal Waters (geology, coral reefs, crabs, sea horses,
shipwreck, whale sharks).
7) The Mediterranean Sea (sharks, shipwrecks, underwater volcano, caves, tuna
8) The Arctic Ocean (pack ice, walrus, ice diving, fauna, shipwreck, beluga whales).
Aims: For children to learn English through an exciting and holistic medium, whilst also learning about science, history, geography, culture, and the world around them. To develop real life English skills in Listening, Speaking, Reading, and Writing. To develop life skills that will assist them in future roles, and to prepare them for the world of work and professionalism, to learn about different professions. To raise awareness of environmental issues on both a local and global scale, and to think about recycling and conserving Georgia. To learn study skills and how to work more efficiently as an individual and as part of a team, to work with world leaders and scientists. To gain certification and experience that they can use to build their CV.
Project: Over the summer break, myself and the English teachers will work closely together to prepare activities and lessons suitable for each class. We will also work closely with Paul Rose from the BBC television series ‘Oceans’ and will prepare an educational workbook which will accompany the BBC Oceans series and can be used by other ESL teachers around the world. Each lesson, we will watch a section from the BBC Oceans television series, and create worksheets and activities on the themes raised, which can be combined with the book from the series. We will also try and arrange guest speakers from around Georgia and beyond, to come to the school and to give talks on different topics of interest, for example from the Oceanography Department, or a visit from Paul Rose, one of the Presenters from the series. Sponsors will be invited to these events.
In addition, we will organise an educational field trip to the dolphinarium and aquarium in Batumi, and an overnight trip to the observatory in Abastumani to observe the stars at night. Sponsors will be invited to join us, provided that they can fund themselves.
Students will be selected to take part in two trips abroad, and a separate lesson will be arranged to help prepare these students for the visits, including scuba diving theory, writing to their potential host family in the UK, and completing extra homework related to the trip. It is hoped that additional lessons can be added to the timetable to accommodate this. Sponsors will be invited to occasional Open Lessons, to see how the students they are funding are getting along, and to provide encouragement and support, in a mentoring capacity. If a sponsoring company has interest, we can link you to your own group throughout the duration of the projects, and there may be opportunity for sponsors to join the trips if they are prepared to pay for themselves.
The students selected for the trips abroad, will be set challenges every week, and required to raise money towards their spending money whilst they are away. If they do not complete their homework activities they will not be able to participate in the trip and another student will take their place. The costs of the trips will be covered by yourselves as the Company sponsors, but I believe it will be beneficial for the students to raise funds for the trip in order to help them learn about money and budgeting and to learn appreciation of material things. One of their challenges will be to organise a ‘(Halloween??) party’ for the students, to be held on Saturday 29th October 2011 at the school. They can sell tickets for this, and it would be great if sponsors could use this opportunity to teach the students about business. I will also ask them to come up with ideas for raising money, by producing a school newsletter, baking cakes or biscuits that they can sell during break times, or making Christmas cards to sell. I hope that these activities will bring them together and keep them focused on the journey ahead of them. They will be required to research places to visit in London, and to come up with a wish list of places to visit. I want them to take on ownership of the project and the trips.
– Web links for the BBC Oceans Television Series:
Christmas Exchange Visit to Henley-On-Thames Project
Saturday 10th December 2011 – Tuesday 27th December 2011
– Web link for Henley-On-Thames: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tYjLervB5N4
Aims: To take a group of 40 students aged 8 to 15, 10 Assistants (selected from older children and current twelfth graders), and 10 adults (selected from English and other teachers, and parents) to the UK for a cultural visit and to gain Internationally recognised PADI qualifications in Scuba Diving. For children and adults to experience British culture including school, food, and Christmas, and to foster links between Britain and Georgia. To visit places of interest, and to put knowledge from the BBC Oceans project into practice. For British children to visit Georgia and stay with the same children and adults in Spring (British Easter) 2012. For students and adults to put their English skills into practice. To create well rounded and responsible citizens of the future. To foster and develop a nurturing and interactive relationship between students, teachers, and parents.
Project: Each adult will be paired with an Assistant, and together they will be solely responsible for four children throughout the duration of the project. Each group or team will chose a name for themselves and design a logo and badge for their group. Each adult and Assistant will be required to attend the extra lessons and to support the students with fundraising activities and to ensure that their weekly challenges have been completed, otherwise their team member will not be going on the trip with them. If sponsors are interested, and can fund themselves, then there may be opportunity to join this exchange programme, and to work alongside their group of children, assistant, and adult.
On 10th December, each group will fly from Tbilisi to London, where they will be transported into either London or my home town of Henley-On-Thames. I am hoping to arrange a welcome ceremony for them with the Mayor of London Boris Johnson, as he is from Henley On Thames and is an acquaintance of mine. It is also hoped that he will send an invitation to the students to assist with the Visa requirements, but this is not yet confirmed. He may also be able to take them on a guided tour of his chambers and of the Houses of Parliament. At the ceremony, students will meet with their British pen pals (host family) and will stay with their new ‘families’ in groups of two where possible, but within easy reach of their team members.
All students will be living in the small town of Henley- On-Thames and will see each other at school, so they should hopefully not get too homesick. They will spend Sunday with their family.
From 12th – 15th/16th December the students will attend the school of the siblings in their host family. This will be either a state school or a private school, but since Henley-On-Thames is a wealthy area, all schools will be of exceptional standards. Host families will be selected from schools where I have personal knowledge of families, children or where I have friends who are teachers or Headmasters.
NB: ALL ADULTS WILL BE REQUIRED TO UNDERGO A CRIMINAL RECORDS ASSESSMENT BEFORE BEING ALLOWED TO VISIT A BRITISH SCHOOL. However, there may be opportunity for sponsors to visit similar companies to their own, and to do an exchange in that way.
Participating schools will include:
– Gillott’s Secondary School (state school for students aged 11-16).
– Shiplake College (a private school for boarding and day students, ages 11-18).
– St Mary’s Primary School (a private school for ages 2-11).
– Rupert House Preparatory School (a private school for girls aged 4-11, boys 4-7).
– Badgemore Primary School (a state school for ages 4-11).
– Trinity Church of England Primary School (a state school for ages 4-11).
– Queen Ann’s School (a private boarding and day school for ages 11-18).
– Blue Coats School (a private boarding and day school for children ages 11-18).
– Henley College (a state college for children aged 16-18).
On Saturday 17th December, Sunday 18th December, and Monday 19th December students who can swim will travel to the nearby town of Reading where they will undertake their PADI Bubblemaker course, and if they are successful in this then they can take their PADI Seal Diver course. The days will consist of theory and practical sessions as well as aqua missions. The children will already be familiar with the theory as we will have covered this in our lessons in Georgia. Instead, it will be a refresher of the material before putting what they have learnt into practice. The PADI courses have been specifically designed for children from 8years upwards, and they will need to complete a medical prior to arrival in Georgia, and be able to swim and be comfortable in the water. For non-swimmers I am hoping to provide swimming lessons, or the opportunity to watch their buddies and to do some other activities. The cost of the course for Georgian students will be covered by yourselves as sponsors, but the host family children will be able to take the same training, provided that they pay for themselves. The courses are based in the swimming pool with a lot of supervision and adults around. I hope to film their underwater escapades and to provide them with photographs afterwards. If the non swimmers pass their swimming test at the end of the course, they will have the opportunity to gain PADI snorkel diver certification.
Here is a link to an online video of the PADI courses for children:
20th -23rd December: Trips will be arranged for Georgian and British children to the places of interest that the Georgian students researched. These will include free entrance museums such as The British Museum where they can see Egyptian Mummies and artefacts, The Natural History Museum where there are dinosaurs and creatures from around the world, and we will get an educational tour. We will also visit spaceships at the Science Museum, see a film in 3D, and have an educational tour around the London Aquarium where we can feed the sharks. I am hoping that Paul Rose will be free to accompany us during the week and to show them around the Royal Geographical Society where the BBC Oceans team will meet them for a lecture if logistics allow. I wish to take them to Portsmouth for the day to see two famous British ships: The Mary Rose, and HMS Victory. I also wish to take them to the Royal Navy base and for them to participate in a simulated boat flooding at the Damage Repair Unit, where they will have to plug the sides of the ship with wood to stop it from flooding. The Navy base is not open to the public, however, I have connections with the Royal Navy and hope that their educational staff will allow us to visit.
– Weblink: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SGEl5DE_q1Q
24th- 26th December: This will be a very busy time for the family and children as it is the time when final Christmas preparations are made, and the children will hopefully have opportunity during their stay to make mince pies and trifles, to put up a Christmas tree, and to receive presents on Christmas morning from their host family, and to sample traditional Christmas food. Families will be asked to bring the children to midnight mass on Christmas eve if possible so that the children can experience this.
27th December: The children will be taken to the airport and flown back to Tbilisi. They will be asked to prepare a presentation for the start of the school year for the other students, parents, teachers, and sponsors, and to write an essay or to keep a diary or blog.
I plan to organise visas for the children and adults, working closely with my contacts in the UK, and with the British Embassy in Georgia.
Spring Exchange Visit for British Students Project (Easter 2012):
During the Easter Break (British students receive two weeks holiday for Easter).
– Saturday 31st March 2012 – Friday 13th April 2012.
Aims: to foster close links between Georgia and Britain, to establish life long friendships and cultural exchange. To promote the English language to Georgians, and introduce Georgian customs and culture to British children.
Project: In the British Easter holiday, the children and their teachers from the host families will be given the opportunity to travel to Georgia and to live with the host family here. They will already know the children in their host family, and have been in touch with the family for some time. British children must pay for their own flights and visit, which should not be a major issue as most of them are from affluent families. During their time in Georgia, they will live with the host family and attend regular lessons at our school, number 56 in Vake. The host family will be responsible for the cost of food and travel to school, just as when the Georgian children were in Britain over the Christmas period. It is hoped that families will take them on trips, but it would also be nice to arrange some trips for all of the participating students, as well as those students at school who were not able to come to England.
There will be a special ceremony, to which company sponsors will be invited, and which will be an opportunity for the media and publicity, and as a way of thanking sponsors for making the exchange possible. Sponsors will also be able to invite the British visitors to see their places of work, and to learn more about their company, to which you may invite the media if you wish.
Spanish Dolphins Project
Trip 1: 18th June to 29th June 2012
Trip 2: 2nd July to 13th July 2012
Trip 3: 16th July to 27th July 2012
Trip 4: 30th July to 10th August 2012
Trip 5: 13th August to 24th August 2012
Trip 6: 27th August to 7th September
Aims: to put BBC Oceans knowledge and English skills into practice in a practical way, working with leading researchers and scientists, and the BBC Oceans team. To gain new skills in conservation and data recording, to get familiar with specific technology, to be motivated, to learn to work as an individual and as a team, and to grow as a person. To foster links between Georgia and Britain, and to promote the relationship between school, parents, teachers, sponsors, and individuals.
Project: During the year, students will continue to work in their groups, but it is likely that some members will be dropped from groups and some new students will be added to groups. Together each group of four students, along with their assistant, and one adult will continue to work together, complete challenges, and to fundraise for extra spending money and educational items.
Each group will join one of the trips, and will be joined by 3 of the British students and their teacher who will be paying the full fee themselves. If space allows and sponsors can fund themselves they will also be invited on the project. The adult and assistant in each group will be responsible for the children during the trip. The Georgian children will fly from Tbilisi to Granada, Spain with their adult and assistant, and the British children will fly with their teacher from London to Granada. They will be met at the airport by Ricardo Sargamino, a cetacean researcher, who spends his life on board his ship the “Toftevag’ with his wife Ana, conducting research into dolphin, turtle, and whale species of the Alboran sea along the coast of Andalucia on their Dutch fishing vessel.
– Web link to a video of this project: http://www.5min.com/Video/Monitoring-Animals-in-the-Mediterranean-Sea-444634687
We will live on board the ship, sleep in bunks below deck, and get up early every morning to sail out to sea. We will spend the day rotating between ‘stations’. Stations may be as follows:
– listening on the hydrophone for animal sounds.
– collecting data on water salinity and temperature.
– on watch looking for animals.
– steering the boat.
When we see a whale or dolphin, stations will include:
– photographing fins for identification in California.
– counting the number of animals in the group.
– collecting skin samples for genetic and medical analysis.
If we see a turtle:
– catching it and bringing it on board.
– photographing it and examining it.
– taking blood samples.
– attaching a transmitter so that the Spanish Space Agency can track it.
Daily tasks will include cooking, cleaning, eating, entering data, and visiting places of interest from the port where we stay on board our boat at night. I am hoping to invite one or two well known musicians to teach pirate songs in English as many of my students play guitar and love music. I also want them to keep a diary or blog, and to draw or paint or develop other skills. When the weather is hot, we will stop and take a swim in the sea, and if funding allows, I wish to include the opportunity to spend a day in port so that the snorkellers can try snorkelling, or take their PADI Bubblemaker or Seal Diver training, and for those who already took this, I would like them to progress to the PADI Master Seal Diver whereby they will complete their first open water dive, and receive certification. And for swimmers, snorkellers, and divers to try their hand at underwater photography and filming.
Costs for this trip will be very high due to the nature of the trip. This will be covered by the donations from sponsors, and will be the opportunity of a lifetime.