The second term of the 2015 school year came to an end on July 25th. After diligent hard work in preparation for final exams, our students are now celebrating their successes at the Village before they return home for a two-week vacation. This is known as “Grading week,”, a period where teachers finalize assessment scores and work together with students and the Informal Education staff to plan for the next term. It is also a week that has been filled with numerous activities and competitions. Here is a quick glance of the happenings at Agahozo-Shalom during Grading Week: 

Spelling Bee: Every term, students in the Language Development Club put on an English Spelling Bee consisting of three rounds. The first round is held within each household where two students from each family progress to the next level. The second round entails four separate competitions for each grade, pitting the best spellers against one another. The third and final round is the Village-wide Spelling Bee, which is held for the final victors from the first two rounds. This is always such a great competition, where students who had successfully spelled words like rhinoceros and Kyrgyzstan, go head to head against each other. It’s important to remember that English is all of our kids' second (or third or fourth) language. Every student always displays an impressive breadth of knowledge, and could likely out-spell most of our native English speaking volunteers! 

Village Quiz: The Village Quiz is a trivia game competition for all ASYV kids. There are three rounds beginning with random knowledge, then international business companies and their logos, and finally the third round where competitors could choose to answer questions from history, science, religion, geography, or entertainment. In typical supportive ASYV fashion, students cheer on their friends as the sun sets over the Lily Safra Amphitheatre, where the quiz takes place. 

Female Solidarity Speech Competition: The young women at Agahozo-Shalom are making strides not only in their own future, but also for women nation-wide. Female Solidarity is a student-run organization that encourages girls to be united and gain confidence in their abilities. Beginning during Term 1 of this year, five representatives from Enrichment Year (first year) participate in a speech competition in front of their entire grade. Each speech discusses a woman’s responsibility to pursue her dreams and empower herself when faced with adversity. 

To take the initiative one step further, after the competition, Female Solidarity held a meeting with all the girls from Imena Grade (first year) to welcome them to Agahozo-Shalom and introduce their Club as a support system and resource tool. 

The entire staff at Agahozo-Shalom wishes everyone a happy holiday and safe journey home! The Third Term will commence on 11 August.  

Submitted by Shelby Sullivan, 2015 Village Fellow