2010 ELI Fellows
The ELI Fellows Program, June-August of 2010, led an 8-week pilot program on the island nation of Mauritius. Six Yale University students and three project administrators taught in four distinct education areas, environment, health and fitness, information technology, and arts, using experiential learning projects. Our Fellows were able to lead four projects that included over 300 children from two local schools, for children who have been forced out of the traditional public school system.
ELI Africa Fellows Jordan and Caroline led children from Etoile de Mer and Fatima in a broad range of physical education classes, designed to promote kinetic learning. Highlights included a soccer tournament and basketball games. In addition, basketball drills saw astounding participation from female students, who shed hesitation and began to compete with boys for the first time on the court.
The health project, led by Sarah and Vicky, implanted a health curriculum largely based on the Community Health Educator workshops used in New Haven, CT schools. The fellows taught techniques related to goal-setting, healthy communication, and healthy relationships. Lessons were largely geared towards improving social/emotional health among students, who had been let down and dropped by traditional public education institutions.
Through the theater project led by Michael, students were led to consider human tendencies and emotion and to understand the importance of narrative. They were introduced to an art form of which they knew little. Also, the students were visibly proud to come on stage and bow after their performance. Two shows were produced. The project inspired and impressed people in the audience. One result of the theater project that was clear to anyone who watched its progress was a change in the social environment of the classroom. Certain very shy students “came out of their shells” over the course of the theater project, and one student even told Michael that “theater changed her life.”
Led by ELI Fellows Emily and Sarah, the Book Project encouraged students to take ownership of their stories by writing them down in a directed way. The Book Project gave students the opportunity to create something they could be proud of creating. Lessons included extensive computer and English education, personal prompts, writing blog entries, and creating PowerPoint presentations.