BSM creates partnership with sister school in Kenya


Courtesy of St. LaSalle School

Students gather at St. LaSalle School in Karemeno, Kenya.

Maggie Anderson, Staff Writer

This year, the Christian Brothers named Benilde-St. Margaret’s and St. La Salle School in Karemeno, Kenya sister schools. 

St. La Salle School enrolled its first class in January 2016. They currently have a total of 150 students enrolled in grades nine to eleven, ten teachers, and nine staff members. Their academic year is controlled by the government. The school consists of three terms: the first is from January to March, the second is from April to July, and the third is from September to November. 

The students in Kenya start their days at 5:00 am. They begin with eating breakfast, cleaning the classrooms, and feeding the animals. They then proceed to have classes, eat lunch, and clean and feed animals again. Their day ends with extracurriculars, dinner, and studying. 

I think what’s going to happen more with the Kenya school is a more digital connection, so it will be Facetiming or Google Hangout or Skyping.

— Dr. Susan Skinner

Benilde St. Margaret’s has another sister school in Japan named Kaisei Gakuin. Kaisei Gakuin is located in Muroran, Hokkaido, Japan, and was founded more than 50 years ago by Benedictine nuns. About 45 of these Japenese students spent time at BSM going through classes on Tuesday, October 8. “They have been coming every year for about ten years,” Principal Dr. Susan Skinner said. 

Because of the location of the St. La Salle school, engaging with the students will be different than with Kaisei Gakuin. However, BSM is still hopeful to make connections with the students from Kenya. “I think what’s going to happen more with the Kenya school is a more digital connection, so it will be Facetiming or Google Hangout or Skyping,”  Skinner said. 

The first connection BSM has made was with Brother Ghebreyesus from the Lwanga District. He came to BSM in September and spoke to the sophomore religion classes about life in Africa.  “It was cool how his journey impacted his decisions on what he wanted to do with his life; it was a very inspirational story,” sophomore Teddy Madden said. 

Phy Ed teacher Casey Hansen has also created a way to link with the St. La Salle School. He created a project that engages the BSM 9th grade students with the St. La Salle students. Freshmen PE students are going to create a game in class as they have for the last several years with limited materials. I had gotten an idea to create games after traveling to Guatemala and playing games with our in-need families with the limited resources we had available. This year we are planning on picking the best game from the PE9 class and sending the rules and materials for the game to our Twin school in Kenya to play and to take a video to send back,” Hansen said.