In September, the PLA 8th graders took their annual bus trip to Nairobi, the capital of Kenya.
This 8th grade trip has been a yearly event since 2012, when Priscilla and Kate North visited Nairobi's Giraffe Center, and found many schools sending their classes on a field trip there. This is an eye-opening trip for the kids. Most have never even been to the nearby town, Kisii, which is 12 miles away from Kodera. They have their first ride in a bus, see the tea plantations on the way, and finally arrive in Nairobi (population: 3 million). Christopher takes the 8th graders, several of the teachers as chaperones, and at least one parent of the 8th graders. They stay in a college campus (on break) and they experience many new things for the first time: their own bed -- with their own blanket, flush toilets, showers, eating in a restaurant, and many new activities. All this helps to prepare them for high school and the opportunities they will have because of their education.
The 8th grade study tour is one of the big and major events that our school plans for and waits for with bated breath until such a time that it comes to pass. For the 8th grade students, they begin to count their fingers as soon as the school year begins in January, just to make sure that they clearly know the number of months till their tour. If you happen to walk into any grade in grade school and ask the kids in the room when their turn for the tour will come, you will be surprised that they have the answer at their fingertips.
We are so thankful to PLCC and to all who have made it possible for the students to go on a study tour during the past years as well as this year. Through this support, we at PLA count ourselves lucky for it is such a milestone to the community of Pine Lake Academy.
In Sammamish, on September 15, Mercy Walk sponsored an auction fundraiser for a large, termite-proof (metal) playground at PLA. Over $4,000 was raised at the auction, and several others have donated since then, bringing the total playground fund to over $9,000. The younger kids are really enjoying the smaller-size playground that was built last summer, and the older kids are looking forward to having both playgrounds available so everyone has a place to play. The next step is working with the organization Kids Around the World as we continue to raise the final funds to make it possible to take a team next July to construct the playground.