Learning Sign Language

21361942_10159296480290029_2100671223_oAt Foundations Academy, our sign language educator Mr. Abel Dauda, moves from class to class teaching the students basic sign language.

Foundations Academy does not have any hearing-impaired students. However, we decided to teach sign language so the children will be able to communicate with hearing-impaired people when they meet them.

Mr. Abel lost his hearing after an illness when he was about 8 years old. Because he grew up as a hearing child, he is able to speak. He speaks both English and Hausa. When we decided to teach sign language, we deliberately looked for a hearing-impaired educator. We knew that this would force both students and educators to learn sign language rather than simply lapsing into spoken words for ease of communication.

Since we are all still beginners, we often have to rely on written communication with Mr. Abel in order to convey various thoughts. Hopefully in a year or two, that will no longer be the case.

Mr. Abel has a diploma from the University of Jos. He is thrilled to have a job at Foundations Academy. Prior to working with us, the only types of jobs he had were carrying loads for people.

One parent was delighted when her young children came home and showed her the signs they were learning. Her brother is hearing-impaired and her children had never been able to communicate with him before. Now the door has been opened for them to start engaging their uncle in conversation.

Another parent of a two-year-old told the principal that her child is not speaking yet, but now the child is making many different signs in order to express himself. The mother is anxious to quickly learn a little sign language in order to know what her son is communicating about. Children are able to communicate before they can speak. There are a number of books available on teaching sign language to babies.

Perhaps some of our students will grow up to be sign-language interpreters. This is a wonderful skill that can really come in handy.





Math Drill

Foundations Academy will be hosting a Math Drill for students on Spring Break during the last two weeks of April. We have discovered that our students are greatly lacking in basic math knowledge. All students will be drilled in addition, subtraction, multiplication and division as well as some other basics such as rounding and place value.

The teachers are currently undergoing training for the Math Drill. We plan to teach the students through games and fun activities. We are confident that once the students master the basics of math, they will be able to excel in their further study of math.

Foundations Academy

Foundations Academy began in 2005 as a small home-school to try to bring orphans up-to-speed and then integrate them into local schools. However, during the summer of 2010, we tested many of our students (orphans) who had been in local schools, and discovered that they lacked the basics for success in school. We realized that we just had to expand to our own full-fledged school.

We kicked off with about 25 students and five teachers for the 2010-11 school year. We have about 70 students and 15 teachers this year. It has been exciting to see the students grow in their knowledge.

Many of the children in the school are orphans or partial orphans while others come from the community around us.