2018 annual report

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2018 annual report

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At Flying Kites, we know that there is a difference between going to school and getting an education, and our work is to bridge that gap. Early last year, we stopped playing small. After ten years of listening and learning at the Flying Kites Academy, a top-performing school in our district, we began our efforts to share our model with severely under-resourced schools working to improve student outcomes.

In the majority of classrooms across rural Kenya, children’s futures are made more vulnerable by the fact that up to 70 percent of public school teachers have not been given the basic skills they need to provide students with the fundamentals of primary education. Unsupported, battling overcrowding and with limited resources, it’s no surprise that studies show 48% of the time, teachers are not in class.

At the beginning of this year, we launched our Teacher Training Institute, in partnership with The Dignitas Project, in order to equip educators in our community with the tools they need to transform their classrooms. Throughout 2018, we hosted three intensive leadership summits, and deployed Dignitas coaches into classrooms across our 4 partner schools to help teachers implement changes daily, creating student-centered learning environments that foster creativity and critical thinking.

Thanks to your support, our campus has become a hub for our partner schools, their teachers, and the thousands of students in our network, and we are seeing firsthand how intensive, coaching-based trainings can transform schools.

In addition to supporting these schools by sharing our model and training their teachers, we recognize other barriers to learning that their students face: like lack of clean water and sanitation, uniforms, and learning materials. So we brought together The Village, an alliance of nonprofit organizations working together to strengthen our impact with access to clean drinking water, girls empowerment initiatives, school uniforms, infrastructure improvements and the resources to evaluate programs.

And we are just getting started. Because if we went this far together in one year, just think of where we can go next.

Yours in gratitude,


Leila de Bruyne
Executive Director, US


Warucu Kijuu
Executive Director, Kenya


Copy of 2018 annual report


Copy of 2018 annual report


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We are transforming primary education in rural Kenya.

By partnering with communities, educators, and government leaders, we are building the capacity of public schools to improve student outcomes.




The Flying Kites
School Network

In partnership with the Kenyan Ministry of Education and The Dignitas Project, we support a network of five resource-poor primary schools with our intensive Teacher Training Institute, equipping teachers in rural Kenya with the support they need to facilitate learning and literacy in their classrooms.



Flying Kites Academy

Our Academy is a top-performing school in a region where access to a basic education is not guaranteed. A model school and hub for our community of educators, we pilot interventions at the Flying Kites Academy that form the basis of our work within our Network of Schools.


After years of dreaming and planning, we constructed the Charles Wickham Academic Center, a multipurpose building that includes 7 classrooms, science and computer labs, and a brand new home for our Teacher Training Institute.


Our gratitude to the supporters who contributed to our Architects of Opportunity Capital Campaign:

Charles L. Wickham
Carolyn Rafaelian


Victoria & Northup Knox

The Foundation To Be Named Later
Melissa Everson & James Steffen
The Conrad Hoffman Trust
Isolde & Gordon Cole
Kate Larson



Ahmad Anani
Steve & Jeanne Anderson
Laurel Barnes & Charles Majewski
Tish Behan
Veronica Swanson Beard
Ashley Bernon
Isabel Besse
Leila de Bruyne
Scott Delman
Deborah Smith Douglas
Katie Douglas Martel & Ryan Martel
The Edie Family
Patty & Jim Gayhart
Sean & Rebecca Griffing
Zachary Haroutunian
The Holden Family
Roberta Januzzi

Peter Keating
Hilary Keates
Katie & Micah Larson
Jade Laktineh
Kenya Connection Club of ACS, UAE
Meg & Laura Mason
The Mountain Family
Emily Neal
Melanie Nielsen
Amy Slutzky
Lesly Smith
The Swift Family
June Tatelman
Ted & Karen Philip
Debbie Proffitt 
Chris & Tayne Quinn
Joanna Rutter
Sarah Winchester & Steve Curry


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second page

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The World Bank reports that only 35 percent of primary school teachers in rural Kenya have been given the skills they need to demonstrate mastery of the curriculum they teach.


At Flying Kites, we recognize that engaged and supported teachers are a critical factor influencing student achievement. While enrollment in primary education has risen dramatically across Kenya in recent years, better access is not adding up to more learning as many students in rural communities remain functionally illiterate or innumerate, despite having completed multiple years of school. Studies from across Kenya’s education sphere point to the undeniable connection between unsupported teachers and underperforming students.

In collaboration with the Kenyan Ministry of Education, and our nonprofit partner Dignitas, Flying Kites operates our district’s first Teacher Training Institute in order to equip teachers from the Flying Kites School Network - our cohort of resource-poor, public primary schools, with the tools they need to improve student outcomes.

Measuring our impact:

Our Teacher Training Institute follows a three-year progressive model by which teachers learn increasingly advanced pedagogical skills, receive individualized coaching to confidently activate their new skills in the classroom, and ultimately serve as mentors and role models in the teacher community. The goal of our Teacher Training Institute is to help educators ensure that their students are able to achieve foundational levels of proficiency in literacy and numeracy, while developing student-centered learning environments that foster inquiry-based learning and promote critical thinking.

In early 2018, we worked with school leaders to assess the fundamental skills and capacity of teachers in our partner schools and launched the pilot year of our Institute with a cohort of 27 teachers. Throughout the year, coaches evaluated teachers on 12 skills to gauge proficiency in key focus areas – such as the implementation of student assessments to evaluate student progress, setting academic goals in collaboration with students, and preparation of class materials to maximize time for instruction. Baseline evaluations concluded that only 12% of our cohort scored as overall Proficient (a score of 50-75 on a 100-point scale).


Following a year in our program, our end-line assessments found that every participant made improvements across the instructional areas, and 67% of teachers demonstrated overall proficiency and have graduated to our second year program.


Baseline Assessment of
Teachers // January 2018

End-line Assessment of
Teachers // March 2019


*For a full copy of the report, please contact Debra Shapira and to see descriptions for each category, click here.


Copy of Copy of 2018 annual report

Copy of Copy of 2018 annual report

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Traditional approaches to improving primary public education in rural Kenya aren't working; too many organizations are operating in isolation, competing for limited resources and lacking a cohesive strategy. Our approach brings together government and non-profit actors in a structured way around the common agenda of strengthening Kenya’s primary education system so that more students can be safe, healthy, engaged, challenged and supported.


Celebrating Collaboration:


This year, our partners MSR Global Health provided water Community Chlorine Makers to schools in the Flying Kites School Network. The device is a small, portable technology that uses chlorine to purify 200 liters of water in about under five minutes. Thanks to MSR and a generous grant to install water tanks and piping in our partner schools, over 3,000 vulnerable students now receive access to clean drinking water at school.


Throughout 2018, our partners at Tailored for Education empowered us with a grant that provided over 3,047 uniforms to students at Flying Kites and our partner schools. In exchange for uniforms, parents contributed between 10-20 percent of the average uniform cost to a fundraising pool - funds that were then reinvested into the school. Parents and teachers voted on what school improvements they felt were the most urgent, resulting in schools purchasing new desks, constructing new toilets, and completing infrastructure.

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The majority of the pupils at Mucibau come from poor parents who are mostly casual laborers. They earn very few coins, hardly enough for food, which means providing uniforms for the learners is very difficult. Most of the learners were coming to school with torn clothes, and by looking at them one would not know the official school uniform color. The school community is very grateful, and students feel proud, and have confidence in themselves, because of the uniforms.”
— Mr. Mukono, Mucibau Primary School


2018 Financials


2018 Financials


2018 Revenue: $2,111,712

2018 EXPENSES: $1,549,598


Looking Ahead

Looking Ahead


Flying Kites School Network

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Next year, we look forward to welcoming Karati Primary School to the Flying Kites School Network. Karati Primary currently serves 426 vulnerable students.

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Teacher Training Institute

With our 2018 Teacher Training Institute pilot wrapping up, we are gearing up to enroll over 50 teachers who instruct nearly 3,500 students into the Institute in partnership with The Dignitas Project.

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Flying Kites Academy

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With the completion of the Charles Wickham Academic Center and the on-boarding of eight new teachers, enrollment at FKA is set to double in 2019. We plan to break ground on our Early Learning Center in in September of next year.

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Girls United

During school holidays, we will host 91 grade 7 girls from across our partner schools for workshops focused on reproductive health and self defense, in partnership with Ujamaa.