Summer Institute Recap

Marty Caplan, SHOFCO Education Consultant, wrote a recap of how Summer Institute not only teaches students to expand their thinking, but prompts teachers to think outside of the box, too. 





SHOFCO Schools for Girls Summer Institute for the Teachers and Administrators

The mission of the SHOFCO Schools for Girls calls for a program strong in academics, rich in arts, and focused on social and emotional development.  Our goal is for our girls to apply what they learn in a way that demonstrates:

·      A sense of civic responsibility

·      Innovative and creative real world thinking

·      Entrepreneurial and ethics-based leadership


How can we teach the girls all the skills that they need to learn, but never lose focus of the major goals of our mission?  That is what over 40 teachers and administrators from The Kibera School and The Mathare School grappled with during the Summer Institute of 2016 facilitated by four educators from Denver, Colorado.


I am Marty Caplan (retired Head of Logan School).  My wife, Arna Caplan (retired teacher and curriculum writer at Jefferson County Public Schools), and I have just returned from our fourth visit of teacher training at Kibera.  This time we were joined by Liza Eaton (Instructional Trainer at Odyssey Expeditionary School) and Kathi Mclaughlin (retired teacher from Odyssey School).


Using inquiry, allowing time for the girls to explore and discover, and developing units around big ideas that support the mission of the SHOFCO Schools for Girls- that is what we focused on in Summer Institute.  These are difficult things to grasp for teachers who have been trained in a very traditional approach to education.  Mastering them requires a lot of hard work.  And hard work is what we saw.  We have never seen a group of teachers more willing to learn, more committed to the girls, and more open to try new things. 


As the girls of SHOFCO grow into becoming future leaders who will make a difference in the world, they will never forget the wonderful teachers they had as role models!