Did you know that keeping up with their education is an important part of choir member’s daily lives? It’s no easy task to stay up-to-date while they’re on the road, but they do it!
Every group of kids that comes to the U.S. also includes a teacher from Uganda who travels with them, and plans their lessons. Most churches the Choir visits offer a space in their building that becomes their classroom. So five days a week, just as if they were at home, they go to school. They use Ugandan curriculum, so that when they return home they are right on pace with their classmates.
The similarities to school in Uganda end there though – school on the road is full of unique learning opportunities! The biggest change is the shared classroom: all the grade levels are taught together in the same room. Choir kids range in age from as young 8 to as old as 12, so there are huge academic difference between them. One of the current tours has six different grade levels between the 10 children!
It’s a challenge, but the Ugandan teacher always manages to keep up with all the different grade levels. They rotate through subjects, focusing on one each day, with a fifth day for catch-up: Math, English, Science, and Social Studies. The teacher works with the kids both individually and in groups. Often the other tour staff will help out as well, adding the one-on-one attention needed to make sure each student fully understands the lessons.
Through connections with host homes and churches, the Choir often gets to visit elementary schools. There, they can see what school looks like in America for kids their own age. And every church they visit likes to provide fun school supplies too! Churches regularly lend the Choir incredible crayon collections, give them piles of fun stickers, and share some great educational toys.
The kids also get incredible opportunities for field trips, as they travel all over the country!
While Devis and Desire in Primary 5 were learning about dams and hydroelectricity, the tour got to visit the Hoover Dam to see their lessons in action! And while Caroline’s Primary 2 science curriculum was focusing on wild animals, the tour got to visit a zoo in Omaha, Nebraska. Everywhere they go, there’s a new hands-on learning experience just around the corner. One time it was a local airfield for an up-close look at mechanics. Another time it was the Grand Canyon for a one-of-a-kind geography lesson!
Perhaps these exciting real-life experiences explain why the kids are usually so excited about school and eager to learn. One of our former tour leaders remembers how much the kids loved their school work. “Some have even been known,” she says, “to ask if they can finish their work instead of playing.”
Their classes might not look much like traditional school, but their time on tour is always an unforgettable educational experience for each Choir kid.