LIPACE Assesses Liberia Reads! 2018 Program

first_imgLIPACE volunteers and Mrs. Gray posed after the training Liberia for the Promotion of Academic Excellence (LIPACE), a local organization that works in the education sector, has conducted an assessment for academic year 2017-2018 under the theme, “Liberia Reads! (LR) Educational Program,” and is poised to present its findings.LIPACE, which is a statistics-driven institution that analyses and interprets data, recently sent out scores of assessors to various schools under the LR program, to see how students are coping with their lessons.The program is to create a strong foundation of literacy and integrates skill learning, especially reading and pronunciation.Being an initiative of Liberia Reads! an NGO founded by ex-Peace Corps Volunteer Geraldine Melosh, who served for many years in the 1970s, and her husband Bob Melosh. Their effort is aimed at increasing awareness of the central role that reading plays in the lifelong process of education.As it is often said, reading brightens one’s mind and sharpens the intellect, so this is exactly what is playing out for several kids in 24 schools in three of the 15 counties under the LR program. The initiative helps train teachers, principals, and reading coaches in reading instruction.Liberia Reads! country director Lyn Gray, who spoke to the training volunteers for the end-line assessment for 2017-2018 in Paynesville, said the culture of reading needs to be enhanced in Liberia if the education sector is to become vibrant. The day-long training was intended to ensure that the assessors had a better understanding of the data. The seminar was conducted by Mrs. Gray.“It is no secret that reading is the cornerstone of education, and one cannot do it without knowing the basic fundamental ingredients,” she noted.The founder, Geraldine Melosh, holds a doctorate in education and is a successful educator who, though based in the US, frequently visits home every July.“After many years of success in the USA, she thought to give back to a country that helped develop and shape her professional career as a Peace Corps volunteer,” she said.She noted that prior to the crisis in Liberia, reading and education were not much problem in the country as the sector was striving towards excellence. “But now it is a huge problem and we are seeing how this is being reflected in our students’ performance in public tests in the country,” she said.Some noted that much of the problem in the sector, from the academic side of things, is as a result of Phonics Education in the country.“It was against this backdrop that Liberia Reads! was established to help solve this problem. In this vein, teacher manual and reading books for students were prepared and have since been in use,” she said.The program focuses on childhood early learning, which includes K-2, Grade I, II and III. The teachers of these classes and the principals of the participating schools are part of the program.Madam Gray and and LIPACE Administrative Officer, Steve WiefuehLR works with 24 schools in three of the 15 counties. These include Montserrado, Margibi and Bong counties. Lyn was also a Peace Corps here in the 1970s, assigned at the Sanniquellie Central High School in Nimba County.“The best way to know that we are succeeding is how the kids are reading,” Mrs. Gray said. To do that, LR contracted LIPACE, an independent external evaluator, to do baseline and end-line assessment every year.The issue of class size is paramount under the program, and according to Mrs. Gray, all the schools are required to have at most 30 students per class. Under the initiative, teachers conduct two hours of reading classes every school day.LIPACE Administrative Officer, Steve Wiefueh, said LIPACE volunteers assessed performance of students from eight of the schools under the program.“These assessors bring back the results as to how the pupils are doing—whether they are correctly reading more words per minute or not,” Wiefueh said.LIPACE was founded by Benjamin M. Freeman, Jr., who also served as executive director with a good track record of not just data collection, but proffering solutions for academic oriented problems.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

Philadelphia Convention and Visitors Bureau highlights results as economic catalysts at Annual

first_imgThe Philadelphia Convention and Visitors Bureau (PHLCVB) presented key findings on the hospitality industry at its Annual Report Business Meeting. 18 citywide conventions, the most in a decade and an increase in overseas visitation combined to bring 1.3 million overnight visitors to Philadelphia. Both factors have contributed to a growth in hospitality-related jobs, hotel room nights booked and overall visitor spends – all markers of the industry’s success and impact on the local economy.“The PHLCVB has played a major role in the positive growth and development of our city. Through their work, Philadelphia is now viewed as a top destination for meetings, conventions, sporting events and visitors from across the globe,” said Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney.As the official tourism promotion agency for Philadelphia globally and the primary sales and marketing organisation for the Pennsylvania Convention Centre, the PHLCVB coordinates efforts with local partners and seven international representation offices around the world to bring visitors to the city.“2018 set new records across most of our industry’s key performance metrics – more visitors came to our city, stayed in our hotels and spent money with local businesses,” said PHLCVB Chairman of the Board Nick DeBenedictis. “This economic activity drives results for our city and region by generating taxes and supporting the 74,300 hospitality-related jobs in Philadelphia, which has grown by 15% since 2013. Tourism and hospitality are one of the city’s largest and fastest growing employment sectors and the visitors we bring to the city create stability and opportunity for workers across a broad spectrum of jobs.”PHLCVB’s annual report also contained the most recent data (2017) for overseas visitation to Philadelphia. The Global Tourism Department travels to domestic and international trade shows to promote and position the city as a leisure travel destination. In 2018, the team participated in 48 trade shows in 14 countries, led 14 sales missions in 12 countries and hosted 334 travel buyers from 21 countries. Additionally, the Philadelphia-based team hosted 96 international media from over 19 countries and placed over 1,600 stories about Philadelphia as a leisure travel destination in the overseas travel trade and consumer media.last_img read more