Celebration of Learning Kiva Kids 2016

Each year I continue to be amazed by what the boys accomplish at Town School for Boys in conjunction with Kiva.org.  This year, in addition to raising approximately $1665 in new funds (equating to 64 loans and a $65 donation), we also had the opportunity to team up with 2nd and 3rd graders to teach them a little about lending and microfinance too!  Additionally, the 6th grade Core math class participated in a unit of their own making approximately $400.  

The Annual Celebration of Learning is always a wonderful opportunity to have the students share with parents and other community members what they have learned.  We also had a special treat- Bumzy's Cookies!  (Kiva Zip Borrowers from SF) Feel free to check out our overview video and dive into some of the business presentations too.  More lending to come in 2016-2017.

RFL

(Sean, Mason & John)

 

 

Squeeze Inc

(Colin, Noah, Lucas & Kitt)

 

 

Squishy Squad

(Josh, Jack, Alesso & Ben)

 

 

Hacky Town

(Alfred, Harrison, Spencer & Charlie)

 

 

Putty Putty

(William, Gordon, & Alex)

 

 

Slap Bands +

(Benjamin, Charlie, & Jackson)

 

Celebrating International Women's Day One Loan at a Time

While running businesses in math class provides a lot of valuable math and life lessons, it is important for me to continue connecting their adventures with micro-financing with the many concepts covered in their 6th grade curriculum. And sometimes these lessons appear out of nowhere...

On Friday, the boys revisited the loans they made in connection with Thanksgiving. We took some time to look at how much we had been repaid and what percent of their original loan that equated to.  This forced them to subtract (Kiva tells them how much is still invested), and compute a percent. Each of the boys computed their own statistic, essentially checking the work of Kiva, and brought it to our community meeting.  Out of 21 boys only one students loan is late in paying back.  Immediately the boys calculated if  this was in line with Kiva.org's statistics.   Pretty close 95% vs 98.4%.  We are hopeful:) 

The boys companies are doing well, and we discussed when they would likely dive into lending. One group is 100% paid back and doesn't have a goal of creating larger capital so they are ready.  While another group hopes to buy customized slap bands and needs more capital.  In sharing these observations and realizations we talked a bit about savings and then investments.  I told the boys I would be giving them each a loan in honor of Women's Day and we compared and contrasted our decision making process with the money I give them, which is part of a large portfolio (over $4000) vs their companies which are starting with earnings and a much smaller portfolio.  The boys discussed field partner risk, repayment periods and personal connections to borrowers.  

Monday and Tuesday afternoon's class began with revisiting our loans.  The boys had questions about currency loss and I let them know we would do more with currency as we approached our unit on proportions, but explained a little of this to them. Then we revisited our Thanksgiving loans and computed the mean, median, and mode of our Field Partner Ratings.  All great review! 

Discussing our first loans was a great lead in to the International Women's Day lesson I had planned.  After looking at Kiva's slideshow about the event, the boys spoke about the kinds of loans they wanted to make and got right into lending.  I asked them to think about why they were making their loans, both objectively and subjectively and made them request their loans to me using the prompts, I notice... I wonder... and I connect to...  here is what we came up with...

 

Benjamin writes: I notice that my person, María, is a cattle farmer in El Salvador supporting her 13 year old son's education for a bright future for him. I wonder how long it will take to pay back and what she uses her cattle for and how exactly she makes money off of it (milk or beef?). I connect because she is working for her son and to make money for her family. She is making sure her son and herself have a brighter future, and I want everyone's future to be bright.

Noah writes: I loaned to Ruth, in Kenya. I notice that she is asking for a loan for her children's tuition. I wonder if she will spend the extra money on her business. I connect, because I have an education, so I want her children to have one too. 

I notice that Grace is a mother of three kids. I respect mothers and the commitment they make for their children. I wonder if she has a husband because it does not say that in her profile. I can connect to her because I live in a family with three kids and I respect the sacrifices that my mom makes to make my and my siblings life great.

I notice that the person I loaned to is married and a mother of three which means she needs money to pay for her family but she has an education and has worked hard so now she has a stable job raising cattle. I wonder if at the start it was hard for her because she was a women. I connect that she is a women doing agriculture and in the slide we saw it said that many women do agriculture.

Just Getting Started: Making a Difference on Fair Day

First Sale Day

This year's Town School for Boys Kiva Kids are up to old tricks, selling product in the name of micro-lending. As the money poured in from faculty, staff and parents*, the boys got excited to purchase their product and start making money.  Fair day at Town occurs every year the day before February holiday week and it seemed the perfect day to launch this years products.  4 out of the 6 groups successfully received product in time to make this happen.  The two groups that didn't get their product in time have learned lessons about shipping costs (ouch!), inventory issues (out of stock), and that being on top of things and working as a group is very important.  I have faith that watching their peers success on Friday will only in the end make their company stronger in the future.  

*In the past I struggled with the idea of having parents become lenders, however after careful consideration I allowed each parent to give up to 10% to their son's company loan in an effort to bridge communication about the project experience and learning. 

In addition to selling product, the boys have recently learned how to set up spreadsheets, and create functions (They need to this to set up a BOG -Bank of Goggin).  They have also used proportions to discover what their loan size in Kiva Kids would look like on Kiva.org, they have analyzed the Town School for Boys Kiva portfolio to look for trends and gaps, and have had serious discussions about pricing, profit, and building capital.  We are just getting started.

 

 

Here's to the 2016 Kiva Kid Borrowers

The boys have been busy putting together business plans, filling out borrower applications, and discovering a lot about what it takes to put it all together to become proud business owners. With the help of parents and faculty members, some of our teams are well on their way to being funded in the hopes of opening up shop in the early days of February.

 

Check out our Kiva Kids Page

 

I asked the boys to reflect on how it feels to be a borrower and here are some responses:

  • As a borrower, I feel pretty good because our group has been loaned to multiple times. I also feel a bit satisfied, knowing that our group is closer to being fully funded. Being a borrower is exciting because you don't know if you are going to be fully funded, and if you aren't, then you can't start your business. I really hope people will loan to us so we can get started on selling our mesh squishy balls to the students.
  • I feel that as a borrower it is really exciting checking your loaners and how much you have because every time you are that much closer to getting your loan. The one thing that I feel is hard about being a borrower is not being able to use your loan until it fully is funded. For example I found a better deal on our product but unfortunately I couldn't get it because our loan wasn't fully funded yet. But still I can see how we shouldn't be able to because people who get loans through Kiva can't use the money until they get fully funded. The reason they are on Kiva is also because they don't have the money to buy the thing they want.
  • I am so far enjoying the experience because it feels different than being the lender. Our group has been very successful so far, and we hope to stay on track so we get our loan of $60 as soon as possible. To be a borrower, you must have patience because you have to wait for lenders to loan to you, and sometimes that takes a while. 
  • I feel good because we are getting multiple loans and I think we might be a successful business. It may take a while to achieve our full loan, but I am excited. I feel like we are relying on these kind lenders and that paying them back is our priority, but we need to think of how to make good profit while paying back our lenders, and not making mistakes to bring us down. 
  • It is kind of nerve racking thinking of what can go wrong as a borrower. I also think that the process of paying back the loan is scary because you don't know that the business is going to make enough money to pay back the loans.

 

Little Changes in the Hope of Making A Big Difference

The 6th graders have been busy working on their Kiva Advertisement project.  While I haven't had an opportunity to post, it's not because we haven't been working.  As in years past, I introduced the project with the driving question, How can we create advertisements that encourage new and existing kiva lenders to make a loan in _(blank)__ geographic area? In addition to that driving question, and inspired alongside my own grad school work on research, I decided to concentrate on the following questions:

How can we be better consumers of statistical representations?

How can we be better creators of statistical representations?

My goal for the Kiva project this year, on top of getting my students to empower many lives across the globe, is take a look at the rubrics, grading process, research components and intentionality of everything we do.  The first stop on this "Year of Change" was to recruit the help of the library team in the hopes that we could create some common language, reinforce protocols for using sources, and discuss citations. We got this and a whole lot more.

Ms Stuart visited our classroom after the launch and provided examples of advertisements that were much more similar to what we were looking for then the examples I had been able to provide in the past.  While I had never heard of Ad Council, I certainly had a good time reminiscing about some of their famous commercials, "This is drugs, this is your brain on drugs, any questions?".  To learn more about Ad Council you can watch this quick video .  Ad Council fits right into what we are trying to accomplish in our project and I am so glad Ms. Stuart introduced us.

The boys were not only engaged in the examples provided but they were also very knowledgeable abut appropriate sources, creative commons and the libraries resources.  So, I pushed them on their way to discover a little bit about Kiva and the countries they decided to focus on.  At this point, they have all had short interviews with me where they presented the statistics they are going to use to convince others and are about to begin creating.  Commercials, Infographic Posters, Brochures and more... all coming your way soon from the GARAGE! Stay tuned, we are just getting started!

Annual Reports 2015 - Celebrating Another Great Year

It's been a busy week or so in 6th grade math as the boys prepared to present their Annual Reports to peers, parents and Kiva Executives.  The boys did a great job presenting their materials, allowing the crowd to vote on a loan, and sharing their stories.  Take a moment to check out their presentations.  Consider showing your support by joining the Town School Friends and Family lending page.  

You will see their presentations hyperlinked to the company name on slide #6 here.

Excited to have another $925 in the Town School for Boys lending team to share with entrepreneurs and others around the world.  Well done Class of 2017!




Educating About Kiva = Change Makers?

The 6th grade boys have been actively educating our K-8 community about kiva.org.  Visiting classrooms, creating developmentally appropriate presentations and asking and answering tough questions truly allows me to see the knowledge and skills they have attained through this project thus far and the empathy they are feeling for others across the world.  

The boys have presented to many grade levels and grandparents/special friends over the course of the last few weeks.  They have gotten good at feeding their peers questions in order to round out the presentations, speak firmly about their thoughts and answer tough questions about the importance of micro finance, the issues with global poverty, what's been their favorite part about working with Kiva and my fave from a 2nd grader...

So would you consider yourselves change makers?
— Town School 2nd Grader

In addition to a clear introduction and a Q and A session many of the groups presented the boys with a multimedia component.  Take a moment to enjoy.  More on they way!

Kindergarten-Second Grade

Kiva as Superhero's - Poverty the Villain

Third-Fourth Grade

About Kiva

Upper School and Greater Community

Save a Life (New Version Coming Soon)

What is Kiva?

More Loans...

While the boys are awfully nervous about giving up their capital, the 6A class successfully made 3 loans to day in class.  While the bank accounts are low, the boys have product to sell and are confident they will be able to make repayments this month. We welcome these new friends into OUR community!

Emma is from the Philippines.  We feel connected to this country because we know people from there.  Emma is married with 8 children, and she needs money to care for them. The impact of this loan will go far beyond Emma herself.  Emma has had 13 prior loans and we feel confident we will get our money back. -Sports Ball Inc

Imelda is part of the Ngasoma Road Group and is planing to sell food which will also help her community. She has five children still in school and we are confident she will pay back because it's her second loan. She paid back successfully in the past.  Annual income $1700 in Tanzania and we feel that the money we are able to loan will make a difference. -Bouncy Ballers

We want to lend to Roset because she is a single mother with 3 kids.  She is buying a goat to slaughter to feed people of her community.  Through these meat sales she dreams of expanding her market.  Just like us!  We can't believe Uganda's income is $1500 so we would like to lend to her.  -Bouncy Ballers.



It's Lending Season! Take Note!

Today marked the first day of lending for the 2014-2015 young businessmen.  While they have had the opportunity to  make group loans and free loans from Kiva, today marked the day that a group of young men from our Kiva Kids program had successfully made enough money to lend to an entrepreneur of their choice. Today marked the day where 4 boys from Bouncy Ballers decided that they would make a loan in the hopes that it would change a life.  Today marks the day that the loans from our faculty and staff that empowered our boys to start businesses, eventually empowered others from across the globe.  So who did they lend to?  

Meet the Takondwa group from Malawi.  

When asked why they decided to lend to this group the boys eloquently said:

  • They are a group
  • This is their second loan
  • By selling second hand clothing they are making money to help her children, but they are also helping others from their village get the clothes they need-double impact.

Great work boys on being the first to be financially secure enough to make a loan. Just 6 weeks in from being fully funded and doing fantastic work!

(Side note-Malawi is in Africa and Ebola is in Africa was also part of their list-this obviously led to quite a discussion on geography, Africa as a continent and accessibility and didn't make our top 3 reasons!)