December 2012 - Falcon Investment Advisors

December 2012

Falcon-Titagya School Opening

Falcon is proud to announce the opening of the Falcon Titagya Pre-School located in Kpong. After many long months of hard work, the schoool was finally able to welcome its first incoming class of preschool children.

Please see the update from Andrew Garza, Chairman of the Board of Directors for the Titagya Schools:

Dear Falcon Partners;

I’m delighted to let you know that we just opened the Falcon School in Kpong.  We hosted the opening ceremony on Thursday and classes will begin tomorrow.  Ceremonies are important in the region, and the event was attended by local traditional leaders, our teachers, and the parents of many of our students.  Habib gave a speech in which he thanked the community for its partnership and expressed our excitement to work with everyone to create a transformational educational environment for their kids.  He also called out Falcon’s tremendous support and told people that even though they hadn’t met you in person yet, you care very much about their success.

The pre-school caters to 90 kids between the ages of 4-5 years old, and we have three classrooms.  Most of the students come from Kpong, with a minority coming from surrounding communities.  Our four teachers are eager to start teaching the students.  First impressions are crucial, and we think it’s important to quickly immerse the students in their new environment: getting them used to the norms of the classroom, teaching them how to constructively share their opinions, starting to teach them English, and making them feel that the classroom – and learning in general – is fun.  

In terms of teacher training, we conducted some of it in Kpong and capped it off with a week-long training in Dalun, alongside our teachers there.  One of the things I learned at Falcon was that the quality and effectiveness of the various geographical outposts of a company can vary substantially.  With that concept in mind, we thought it was important for the teachers in Kpong and Dalun to get to know each other and for our new teachers to be properly welcomed into the Titagya family.  Many people learn best by watching someone else do a job, so we gave the teachers in Kpong the chance to spend the better part of a week observing the teachers in Dalun.  We’re pleased with how quickly they’ve been learning, and are confident that the on-boarding will pay off in a great classroom experience for our students.

In addition to the opening of the school, we are also delighted to be hosting a small delegation of five professors and administrators from Bryn Mawr College next month.  They’ll be visiting Dalun and Kpong to see the schools, advise us on additional classroom activities that could be beneficial, and further develop our budding partnership with the government. When I met with the head of early education in Ghana over the summer, she indicated the government’s interest in potentially having Titagya and Bryn Mawr as partners in training early childhood teachers in the North.  Since we believe that great teachers are the most important component of a strong education, this could be an amazing opportunity to create better teachers.  I’ll keep you updated on the progress of this potential initiative.  We don’t have any details yet on the potential scope of the project and what precisely it might involve.

I also want to say that Titagya is incredibly lucky to have partners like Falcon.  We’re grateful not only for your financial support, but also your encouragement, deep interest, and thought contributions on sourcing materials and management.  It’s a pleasure to work with smart, passionate, and understanding people.  This is hopefully just the beginning of a long partnership, and the Titagya team in Ghana can’t wait to show you around the school.  I’m sure you’re also eager to see pictures of the students in class, and I’ll send those to you in an update next month.  

I look forward to speaking with you soon, and congratulations on this accomplishment – because of you, 90 kids who wouldn’t otherwise be in school right now are starting down a path that will enable them to do great things with their lives.

Falcon is proud to be a supporter of Titagya Schools. For more information, please visit www.titagyaschools.org.