The past six months have been a period of great growth for Global ADE, particularly in regard to fundraising. We held our second annual meal-points fund-raiser, during which students had the opportunity to donate meal points to pay for our upcoming spring auction. UP students again showed their generosity, allowing us to reach our goal.
During the winter, the students of University of Portland are allotted one month to leave campus, abandoning all school responsibilities and doing with our time as we please. Some hit the slopes, others the bed. Global ADE Co-Founder Kenny King hopped on a plane to Cambodia, a stark contrast to our rainy Portland. To check in on the progress of programs we have already funded, Kenny spent time in Siem Reap visiting Spitler School and PEPY. We are very pleased with all he saw; improvements he observed are even more substantial than expected!
Many of us do not remember our beginning days of kindergarten; long forgotten are the nerves we felt in a room full of new faces and the illness that plagued us, caused by an ever-increasing distance from our parents. However, in new and unfamiliar situations, these feelings often return in milder forms. Just as new kindergarteners ponder whether they'll make friends and if their teachers will be nice, Kenny arrived with expectations he hoped would be fulfilled. The primary purpose of his trip was to evaluate the efficacy of our Global ADE programs, to see and make tangible any progress. Carrying the weight of anticipation with each step, he arrived at the Spitler School to find the entire student body there to greet him. Smiling faces and unabashed enthusiasm made a wonderful first impression.
Once inside, Kenny met with seventh graders who are recipients of Global ADE scholarships. $2,100 was donated for these scholarships, a cause we are passionate about. Cambodia has a dropout rate of 75% by the time of seventh grade, due to a multitude of obstacles including money and distance. With the aid of our funding, however, 27 of Spitler's 28 seventh graders are not only still in school, but plan to continue their education as well. The inspiration that comes from hearing the hopes of kids ascending into adulthood is unparalleled and the reason for Global ADE's founding.
I n the grind created by our day-to-day routines, the passion that comes from living in the moment is often lost. The small pleasures, the wonders, that once surrounded us easily fade. One of the most gratifying aspects of Kenny's trip was witnessing the enthusiasm reverberating within the classroom walls. He sat in on the Creative Class in Progress, to which $1,500 was donated. Even after years of schooling, Kenny had never seen kids have more fun than they while learning.
The pleasure these students find in their education is due in part to their teachers. The Traveling Teacher Support Program was established to train teachers within the school. Kenny met with the man responsible for the program, Mr. Seng, for whom we funded a salary of $1,500. The program's success was astounding. Many Cambodian teachers have only a ninth grade education and accordingly struggle to teach advanced curriculum. To address this problem, Mr. Seng trains 13 other teachers, thus enabling them to provide better education. Two teachers have successfully graduated from the program, and with changes such as these, the potential held for the future surges.
It was very gratifying both to witness current successes as well to gain greater insight into needs that may arise in the future for the Spitler School and PEPY. Looking to the future is of utmost importance to Global ADE, and we are currently undergoing the process of collaboration with other deserving organizations. These groups are serving important needs within Cambodia, and we look forward to informing you of future involvements throughout the year.