Greetings to you all! I hope this letter finds you all well. Vutakaka Junior School is progressing very well in its 8th year of operation. The school has two sub-sections – with three Kindergarten classes and five Primary School classes. Currently, we have 227 pupils enrolled, with 114 boys and 113 girls. Despite some recent staff changes, we are moving into 2009 with a very competent teaching and supervising staff.
Vutakaka Junior School (VJS) engages its pupils in both curricular and co-curricular activities. Academically, the pupils are exposed to a quality education, which is shown in our school’s performance (the majority of our students score above 80% repeatedly a significantly higher percentage than any of the public schools in Kenya). VJS is currently one of the top schools in the Kilifi District.
Every year we add more activities for the students outside the classroom. This year, sports are a huge part of our program with students regularly competing in basketball, football, volleyball, and netball for both boys and girls. With these activities, our students are well nurtured physically and are improving their talents. The students are also engaged in a number of clubs including a gardening club, a debate club, a drama club, and a Girl Guides unit (like Girl Scouts). These clubs help students become more comfortable expressing themselves in a crowd, and give them the opportunity to pursue hobbies they are interested in.
Because of your support, our students come to school prepared, with their minds on education. This year, every student has received a new uniform, and will soon get a new school bag. We also provided every student with all the exercise books, pencils, and erasers that they would need. This alleviates a lot of worry that the families and the students have when preparing for school, and allows students to focus all their energy on excelling in class. The free lunch and porridge programs also provide valuable support to students and their families. Students are not able to focus if they have not had a proper mid-day meal, and for some students, our lunch is the only good quality, nutritious meal that they receive all day.
In conjunction with our health department, our students are provided with life skills training, and HIV/AIDS awareness. At last years closing day, the HIV/AIDS awareness class adapted a popular Swahili dance song to share their knowledge with parents and staff about abstinence and HIV/AIDS awareness.
Our students also get to go on a field trip every year. For many students, this is the only time they get to leave the Takaungu sub-location. Last year, the students went to Malindi, an international city about an hour north of Takaungu. They learned about Vasco de Gama’s exploration of the Kenyan Coast, visited a coastal cultural museum, and ate a picnic lunch at the beach.
We are still a young school, but our students and staff have big dreams for the future. Some include teaching foreign language classes, educating our students in how to use a computer and the internet, and expanding to include a secondary school.
All of the students, teachers, and staff at VJS greatly appreciate your support for the 2009 school year. We wish you a prosperous and happy 2009!