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February 14, 2014

posted Feb 18, 2014, 8:09 AM by Admin Windham

Windham Elementary School Newsletter

February 14,2014

Safe, Responsible, Respectful, Ready to learn”

The newsletter is early...may not have school tomorrow.

Vacation next week. Enjoy all the snow and have a great week.

The dance, potluck and cake walk for tomorrow night has been rescheduled to March. Date will be determined later. We will also reschedule the cake decorating workshop.

Parents and JISP skiers: The children have a season pass and can ski any day during the winter season. Parents are limited on their ski days. Information regarding this is in the packet you received from Mr. PJ. Next week on your regular JISP day both parents and kids can ski.

Cross country skiing: Sally and Antje took their skiers to Sally's. Michael had groomed some excellent trails for them in the open field. They skied there first, and after snack they skied in the woods for a short time.

From Mr. PJ: Earlier this month the students in the 3-6 class began a program called Digital Wish.  The program, taught by Eric Bryd, is designed to help the students become good digital citizens and learn about the validity of information presented on the web.  The goal is for children to be more aware of the dangers that online interaction presents, while giving them skills to deal with those hazards.  This program is run by a local Vermont company and has been funded by the Windham Central Supervisory Union.  It will continue for a few more weeks into the spring.  

Mrs. Nau read the book: “The Boy who harnessed the Wind” to the upper class. This is an interesting book we have in our school library, here for the kids to check out and read.

William Kamkwamba was born August 5, 1987 in Dowa, Malawi, and grew up on his family farm in Masitala Village, Wimbe. William was educated at Wimbe Primary School, completing 8th grade and was then accepted to Kanchokolo secondary school. Due to severe famine in 2001-2002, his family lacked the funds to pay the $80 in annual school fees and William was forced to drop out of school midway through his freshman year. For five years he was unable to go to school.

Starting at 14, William started borrowing books from a small community lending library located at his former primary school. He borrowed a 5th grade American textbook called Using Energy, which depicted a wind turbine on its cover. He decided to build a windmill to power his family's home and eliminate the need for kerosene, which provided only smoky, and expensive light after dark. First he built a prototype, then his initial 5-meter windmill out of a broken bicycle, tractor fan blade, old shock absorber, and blue gum trees. He was able to power four light bulbs and two radios, and charge neighbors' mobile phones. He then rebuilt a 12 meter windmill to better catch the wind above the trees, and added a car battery for storage, as well as homemade light switches and circuit breakers. He also experimented with building a radio transmitter to broadcast popular music interspersed with HIV prevention messages.

Subsequent projects have included clean water, malaria prevention, solar power and lighting for the six homes in his family compound, a deep water well with a solar powered pump for clean water, a drip irrigation system, and the outfitting of the village team Wimbe United with their first ever uniforms and shoes. Since receiving their sun and wind-themed uniforms, the team has been on a winning streak that has brought the village together with pride. William recently built yet another windmill to pump grey water for irrigation.

There is much more on the internet about William, his education, his book and he is now a student at Dartmouth college.

Have a great holiday week everyone.

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