Monday, August 15, 2011

East Africa Day 88 (Tues Aug 9): SAT Exam ... I don't miss this!

I went back to Kenyatta University's campus this AM for another day of the Equity Bank Congress. I found the Pre-University Scholars in a nearby classroom building with Anjeli. Anjeli was sitting at a desk at the front of the room with another young woman, and the Pre-University students were all bent over papers, working silently at desks. Anjeli said that they were taking a practice SAT exam. She introduced me to the young woman sitting next to her, whose name I will have to come back and fill in later. She is going into her sophomore year at Harvard, and is a Precious Blood Secondary School alum.

I continued reading "On The Road" at a chair at "the teachers' desk", and watched as the students finished up the exam.

Once they'd finished we spent the remainder of the afternoon grading each exam. The students had been asked to list their top three USA universities on the back of their exam, along with the SAT II subject tests that they want to take (mock) during the Congress. It was really interesting to see what schools the students had listed. Someone listed Lafayette, Lehigh's biggest rival, but no one listed Lehigh:)

Daniel, a KenSAP and Equity Bank Pre-University Scholar, who is leaving for the USA on Thursday, stopped by and helped us grade the mock SAT's. He is entering his freshman year at UPenn. He told me that he has friends at Lehigh. I am so excited for him! He told me great things about KenSAP and encouraged me to go check it out.

The Kenya Scholar-Athlete Project helps bright students from an underserved region of Kenya gain admission to elite colleges in the United States. Begun in 2004 as an informal effort on the part of its two founders, Mike Boit and John Manners, the Project has thus far helped place 55 students at the following institutions: Harvard (seven), Yale (four), Amherst (four), Princeton (three), Williams (three), Middlebury (three), Hamilton (three), MIT (two), Penn (two), Wesleyan (two), Mount Holyo ke (two), Lehigh (two), Brown, Cornell, Dartmouth, Barnard, Bryn Mawr, Smith, Wellesley, Bates, Colby, Connecticut College, Tufts, Brandeis, Swarthmore, Oberlin, Carleton, St. Lawrence, Gettysburg and Manhattanville. All have been granted full financial aid.

It was interesting to see how the Pre-University students scored, overall on each section of the mock SAT exam. This was the first time that I'd seen the SAT exam in many years - thankful that I don't have to take it again!! Equity Bank has given each Scholar a copy of a SAT prep book (the kind you'd find at a US bookstore, I think), and have been encouraging them to study on their own. They will be taking the test in October, I think.

I had to leave after we finished marking up the SAT exams, to make sure that I was home before the sun set. I stopped by the Equity Bank Team office and saw Isaac. We talked about how we can best prepare future Pre-University students for the SAT exam. I'm soliciting suggestions for good American novels that the students can read to prepare for the vocabulary, reading comprehension, etc sections. If you have any thoughts then please leave a comment on this post!

Back to Equity Bank Congress tomorrow!

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