•  Background

BigPen Association has brought parents and teachers from different schools together to learn and share Education21 teaching and learning skills in free workshops throughout Kenya. BigPen adapted Education21 teaching strategy from Enabling Support Foundation ( see www.enabling.org ) . In the recent times , BigPen Association is now addressing common challenges facing day cares and preschools . BigPen promotes the safe interests that improves the operations of member schools, their teachers , children and parents attitude.

  • The most powerful statement - Dr Robert Zenhausern

A child learns the meaning of the spoken word "cat" before the child can say the word "cat". It is a simple and easy task and children learn many words before they can say them. If that is so, why does it take 5 years for the child to learn the written word "cat" means the same thing? The only reason is the way we teach reading --- letter and sound. Early Reading teaches reading by the word, not the letter, and children can learn to understand the spoken word and written word simultaneously.

  • Membership Schools ,Parents and Teachers

Active registered members to BigPen Association are directors , headteachers , teachers and parents of schools. For your school to be a member of the BIGPEN,you must at least meet the following specifications ;

1.) The school should be offering daycare ,preschool and lower primary educational and care services.

2. ) The school is requested to allow BigPen Association to document information on Early Reading through videos, pictures or reading records on scores free of charge as a proof that E21 skills are effective. This helps other schools in BigPen to be able to learn from each other free of charge.

3.) The school must pay a membership Registration fee of Ksh. 3,000 during the first year and pay yearly subscription fee of Ksh. 400 once every year. Individual teachers pay Ksh. 350 the first year and Ksh. 100 yearly subscription. A school must pay registration fee to be introduced to (ESF),Early Reading (ER),BigPen, GoShare Sacco , recent updated Office 365 apps , GoToMeeting and shantideep account . No more charges apart from registration and yearly subscription.

4.) Once registered, any school is able to access free training workshops, free videos and free pictures, free Kusoma app, free Kadiria app ,free consultation services , free teacher supervision and guidance,free school monitoring of staff and more important is free guidance in development of learning material and teaching professional documents preparation. All BigPen training workshops are in line with the New Competency Based Curriculum approved by the Ministry of Education and KICD.

5.) Upon reading and understanding objectives of benefit of the membership at the BigPen, terms and conditions on this pages, the school Director or Headteachers should send all their teachers to free workshops to the nearest Early Reading Site.

How to register

Registration is simple . Send a text with your name starting with the word REGISTER to either;

√ Phone number 0742-840-115

√ (Or email; mndaheb@gmail.com)

For example , if your name is DARIUS , then your first text should simply look like this :-- " REGISTER DARIUS AT BIGPEN " . A reply notification to your text will typically be quick in less than five minutes to guide you on how to register to the BigPen Association .

Benefits to members ( parents, teachers,headteachers, schools and directors)

This section justifies how you will benefit as a BigPen member teacher or school in the following ways;

1.) You can get a soft loan of between 2% to 5% interest if you are a member in BigPen GoShare Sacco . Your loan limit increases as you proceed borrowing and paying back the loan on time .

2.) All member will be allowed to attend Early Reading workshops for free. They will pay no fee in all Education21 workshop training sessions .

3.) Free consultancy services to member Schools and Day Cares. They can ask for advice for help to their record keeping, simple balance sheet and financial statements free of charge without any charges .

4.) Job opportunities. BigPen is growing and it is in need of people to work within nearly every Early Reading Site. Members Schools , parents and teachers are considered first, before hiring nonmembers .

5)To start and develop sustainable and reliable projects to fund and maintain GoShare loans for meet the cost of traveling and communication costs of the ESF guides.

6) Offer free financial literacy through capacity building trainings workshops and free trial practice .

7) . We also inform teachers on available teaching vacancies among schools.

8) support small scale businesses by giving soft loans to the members schools and teachers through GoShare Sacco.

9) Promote quality basic education by advocating for E21 learning skills.

10) Network with like minded partners schools to supporting solving challenges like feeding program, staffing and other emerging dynamics.

11) Supply BigPen Exams at wholesale price to all member schools.

12 ) Updating all member schools on current issues that need attention in the education sector.

Recommendations

BigPen expectation and request is that each teacher or schools to cooperate and;

√ Register as a school or a teacher

√ Volunteer to market of Early Reading to new schools.

√ Help BigPen develop Early Reading Data upon request.

√ Download recent free office 365 apps and GoToMeeting application to be able to interact with other ESF Early Reading volunteers globally.

√ Buy BigPen products such as exams,energy saving jikos , learning cards, BigPen Revision Booklets to promote the BigPen Association.

√Join BigPen GoShare Sacco at your own will.

√ Share your reactions that will help BigPen improve quality if service and products in form of questions, suggestions, opinions or enquiry through our key contacts at the end bellow this page.

Staffing and Leadership.

BigPen operates with volunteer probono guides as staff in the field to reduce budget on salary and motivation. However the teachers ,examiners and project staff who employed in our projects are paid on commission to encourage them to work more get more pay . Each task team has a leader who work as a volunteer with motivation in form of gifts . This helps the BigPen Site hosting Early Program to be motivated depending on the results of their efforts.

Replication Outreach Approach

BigPen Association have succeeded in its attempt to bring all like minded schools together starting from day care centers to Preschools and Lower Primary Schools . Each schools is asked to reach other three more new schools and introduce the schools to Early Reading and BigPen Association. The teacher who manages to reach to more schools than the rest is awarded in each meeting to motivate all efforts and commitment .Any one member school is a friend to the other new schools. This is a sign of genuine friendship at BigPen with unity of purpose . BigPen Association continuously calls for all schools to come together and form one voice against common challenges. The power of pulling all little efforts we have together makes a difference each day. Some come with friends,some come with teachers or new schools . Others give useful rich ideas ,prayers and encouragement .

Source of Funding

Our current resource are limited. Our annual budget quotes far more than our current avenues of financial resource. The main source of funding at this time is Schools Registration fee(Ksh. 3,000) and yearly subscription fee (Ksh. 400 once per year) together with BigPen Examination Series . We are still busy thinking and establishing other sources of funds with the projects to fund BigPen activities . Registration and subscription fee alone can not support all the activities in at BigPen such as paying of trainers and expansion self sustainable projects. We are still trying to reach out to willing investors . There is need to find better ways of sourcing more funds by such as occasional fundraising, donations from well wishers and sustainable economic activities . At this moment , BigPen does not have any sponsor yet.

Expansion , Sensitization and Advocacy

BigPen is sensitizing the grassroot Africa through ESF Guides by the word of mouth . Word of mouth is the cheapest and most convenient outreach tool . They reach out to more schools, teachers , parents, children and area education officers . Our genuine registered field guides are trained regularly to improve professional efficiency and relevance of our volunteers guides before we slow them to train teachers of the schools in their centers. Our Early Reading Sites in Nairobi are listed below together with their guides ;

1. KingPin Training and Resource Centre

KingPin is the host of the headquarters of BigPen Association. KingPin Preschool Section tested the education21 teaching skills in a Nursery Class of 31 Children for the first time before sharing the improved reading mean grade score with other school. KingPin shared the education21 teaching skills to ten schools that started attending monthly workshops on Early Reading hence the birth of The BigPen Association Of Schools. The BigPen has now grown to a network of schools in Nairobi , with new registrations each month . The Association works together by sharing ideas on solving common challenges that face day cares and Preschools. 

Mary Kageha is our BigPen ESF Early Reading Guide in KingPin, Nairobi who is leading in Information Technology for Early Reading , digitalization , keyboarding , record keeping and BigPen Early Reading Database. Mary has developed key boarding as an essential education21 digitalized system of learning to enable teachers and children to search for information in the internet . Mary is a support guide to Boss Isigi on reception desk at KingPin. She compiles all the documentary on a desktop which develops all the database and documentary from all guides and Early Reading Program in all Early Reading Sites.

2. Bloom Center

Phanice Shumila is the founder and CEO of Bloom school . Phanice is the Field Manager guide in Nairobi and a trainer of Early Reading workshops in Bloom BigPen Site . She became a trainer in early reading program after adopting education21 skills from workshops in KingPin school. She has improved the quality of education from the 19th Century to the 21st century practice of Early reading in her Center. She also manages other Early Reading guides in BigPen sites of KingPin, Blessed, Junior Yard and Neema ECDE Teacher and Children Training . She initiates three Women groups that supports orphans and less fortunate needy children in her community . She markets Education21 using door to door advocacy strategy alongside her community mobilization on Vaccination and health monitoring among children and babies.

3. Blessed Early Reading Site.

Seline Otieno is e Founder and C.E.O of Blessed Children's Centre. Seline Administrates all Nairobi Guides and leads in improving health through GoShare Poultry Sacco marketing model to facilitate Education21. She empowers mothers and youths through microfinance services and advocates in sensitizing to the households about efficiency of education 21.Her target is to fight malnutrition among mothers and babies. She creates employment to improve living standards . 

4 . Junior Yard 

This another ESF Early Reading Program Site in Nairobi. Pauline Juma us the founder and CEO of Junior Yard Centre. Pauline is BigPen Public Relations Guide in Nairobi and the whole BigPen Early Reading Team . She is leading in research on dyslexic learners through Early Reading in Nairobi. Pauline is a powerful public relations officer that influences homes , nursery and primary schools to experiment and practice education21 by use of word of mouth as she facilitates Early Reading Workshops. Pauline grassroot community outreach strategies involves visiting Women groups to incorporate Education21 with economic activities that creates job for the parents in the Early Reading Program.

5. Neema ECDE Teacher Training Centre and School

James Kioko is the CEO, Founder and Principle of Neema ECDE Teachers Training Centre and School. Mr James is our Early Reading Guide in Nairobi who advocates for Child Rights and Special Need Education at the BigPen Association . Kioko is an active guide who expands the implementation and lectures of early reading workshops in his ECDE Training Centre at Neema . He develops instructional materials , assesses teachers to facilitate BigPen Examinations products marketing in exercising Education21. James Kioko Spearheads Education21 in Neema Teacher's Training College to produce teachers who have Early Reading Skills for quality Basic Education . He is a voluntary accountant in GoShare projects and Sacco who ensures accountability and transparency in the BigPen project among staffs employed by BigPen who practice Education21.

 

Key Contact 

Director of Education,ESF(Nairobi)

Call; +254742-840-115 /WhatsApp +254789-435-816

Email; mndaheb@gmail.com / mndaheb@shantideep.org Website; www.kingpinkenya.org/bigpen

Facebook page ; BigPen Association