Happy New Year! We hope that you all had a blessed holiday, complete with time to relax, refresh, and spend time with loved ones. All of us here at The Esther School were also able to do just that. We had a wonderful break, complete with visits from family members from the States, holiday celebrations, and time to catch up on tasks around campus. Today marks the first day of the second semester of school! There is excitement all over the village and filling the campus. The past four days have been full of preparations, including purchasing food for the feeding program, cleaning classrooms, restocking, and reorganizing. It has been a lot of work with "all hands on deck", but the results are amazing! The classrooms look incredible, and the teachers are eager to see their students and begin the semester.

The Preschool Class is beginning a unit on flowers and seeds. Around the classroom you will find, "The Esther School Greenhouse" complete with gardening book, felt flowers to arrange on an easel, silk flowers to "plant" and arrange in pots, and even The Esther School Seed Catalog, full of various types of seeds and what they will look like as they grow. Jean has several books in the classroom as well on the topic, and students will do activities in Science such as sorting various types of seeds, and even planting their own and watching them germinate. Woven through it all will be the revelation of the amazing creativity of God as He fashioned this world. Incredible! Enjoy a few pictures from around the Preschool Classroom....

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The Kindergarten class is beginning a unit studying food. The classroom has transformed to include, "The Esther School Market"where students can "purchase" various foods, just as they would here at a local market (with the addition of a play cash register that really works!). They will learn about where food comes from and the various ways to prepare it. In math, they will begin to use charts and graphs, as they count and record some of their favorite foods. Rachel and Beauty have been working very hard getting their classroom ready as well. Enjoy some photos of the transformation:

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Both classes will continue to work on Zoophonics, the program that is used for letter recognition and phonics sounds. Preschool will begin this week with the letter "I", and Kindergarten will be working on the letter "M". Books, table time, and art projects will revolve around the letter they are learning this week.

In addition, both classes will be implementing new bags with the students for organizing their pencils, scissors, crayons, and glue sticks. The bags were donated from GEMS clubs back home, and are perfect for teaching the students to take responsibility for their things as well as the accountability that goes along with that. Each child will receive a bag with their name on it to use in the classroom that contains their own personal supplies. We know they will be so excited to use them! Here is a photo of those, as well as some more "action" shots as we got the classrooms ready to go:

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Although it is fun to see the classrooms, nothing can compare to seeing the sweet faces of the students themselves! Enjoy seeing their smiles as they arrived at school this morning:

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We are so thankful to be beginning this new year and new school semester and look forward to sharing all that it holds with you!