LEKOL HARVEY (THE HARVEY SCHOOL)
Our mission at Lekol Harvey Christian School is to provide a safe, enriched learning environment where children develop academically, socially, personally and spiritually through a variety of instructional and learning opportunities taught by dedicated, skilled teaching professionals.
Lekol Harvey (The Harvey School) first opened its doors on October 10th, 2014 with 91 children (51 from our local community) in grades pre-k to 6th grade. We hired seven eager Haitian teachers. Our school is taught in Haitian Creole.
Though most children in Haiti speak Haitian Creole, the traditional language taught in schools has always been French. Research shows that children learn best in the languages they speak fluently.
After months of research we chose the Matenwa Methodology for our new school. This means that we teach in native tongue and introduce French and English as foreign languages in 4th grade. The children learn in the garden, learn agricultural techniques and use the garden for hands-on learning of science and math. Children are not hit, physically punished, or humiliated.
Our children get a hot breakfast – for many, their only meal of the day. They also enjoy a Vita Mamba snack (nutritionally enhanced peanut butter) each day. Our children engage, and they learn. Matènwa curriculum continues to adapt “best practices” of American progressive education. Research shows that children’s reading is enhanced by having age- and culture-appropriate reading material, and by practicing writing. Virtually no early grades reading material exists in Haitian Creole. Our students write their own story books, which are printed and distributed for other students to read. So they learn.
From the start we learned the parents did not agree with our Haitian Creole instruction. They were afraid that if their kids didn’t learn in French they were not going to graduate or make it through school. Now they see that with Creole, their kids are learning, they’re reading, and they’re understanding what they’re reading. Lekol Harvey successfully raises consciousness and excitement in the childrens parents, and shows them, that their kids will not be “stuck” with Creole.
Michel DeGraff, a Haitian professor of linguistics based at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in the US, describes educating children in a foreign language as “a well-proven recipe for academic failure”.
We are preparing our current children and future generations for deep learning in Haiti. Haitian Creole is the right way to get our children from where they are to unlimited heights and possibilities!
On September 7th our school opened its doors for the 3rd year to 129 excited to learn children!