December 16, 2013

Academic Clinic

The SubaLaker Way is to put academics before football.  After the school year ended in November, we took 6 of our girls to attend an Academic Clinic.  All 6 students recently completed 7th Grade and will be entering 8th Grade next year, the final year of primary school.  Some of the girls are great students while others struggle to get decent grades or even to pass.  We want to equip our girls with the skills, attitude, focus and self-discipline to perform their best in school.

Scripture Union of Kenya held the Academic Clinic in Kisumu with the theme: "Influencing Attitudes towards Excellent Performance.”  While the clinic contained a few practical skills to improve their academics, a large focus was placed on their attitudes and motivation.  The facilitators discussed the importance of setting goals now, at a young age, to ensure their futures will be better.  The attendees wrote down their career goals. Throughout the 2 days, they came back to this goal and were reminded that their attitude is the biggest barrier in academic success. They were challenged that whatever their goal, whatever they hope and desire, they should commit it to The Lord.   

Through a variety of fun and interactive teaching, the students learned many valuable life lessons.  From a children’s dance competition, they learned the importance of self-confidence and that cheating (or copying dance moves) only provides temporary success because you’re not achieving something with your own knowledge. From a video of a man who has no arms or legs, they learned about overcoming obstacles. The leaders discussed that many obstacles will come in their lives to keep them from achieving their goals and dreams.  Some obstacles the girls are unable to control, like being an orphan, or their home environment.  However, there are some things they can control, such as: staying away from unhealthy relationships, listening to parents, accepting criticism/correction, and being well behaved.   Finally, they were reminded of the true source of success, God their Father.  If they commit everything to the Lord, when the challenges come, God will provide them with the wisdom they need to make good choices.

They watched the movie Gifted Hands: The Ben Carson Story and discussed the life lessons they learned from this true story of a poor child, with only a mother, who became a renowned brain surgeon. They learned about working hard toward their dream, never giving up, trusting God, and asking God for wisdom when times are challenging. They also learned the value of having 'cheerleaders' to encourage them along the way. For our girls, that's one huge benefit of the Suba Lakers football club; encouragement in life!

Before finishing the clinic, the students wrote down their recent grades for each subject and then wrote down their realistic goal.  They calculated the difference so that they know how much they need to improve, each year, in order to reach their goals!  We as a club were able to record these goals so that we can follow up with each of the girls!  They also learned how to create a good personal schedule to include appropriate study time for all subjects, not just their favorites!

Lillian and Lavenda thinking through their goals for next year's grades!

It was a valuable clinic for these 6 girls. They enjoyed the experience and we hope this will challenge and encourage them to work hard once school begins again in January!

Check out more of the great work by SU Kenya!

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