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Malawian children
Malawian children reading

Malawi Early Literacy Team

M.E.L.T. is comprised of a group of education and business professionals with a passion for young children and the doors that can be opened for those children through literacy. It is our mission to equip the children in the Northern Region of Malawi, Africa with up to date, culturally appropriate early literacy materials and readers. The readers we publish are about Malawi village daily life, science and culture, and basic health concepts. We will continue teacher training in the twenty schools that we serve so the teachers can get top results when using these materials.









2022: Returning to Malawi



The Malawi Early Literacy Team is overjoyed to announce our return to Malawi on August 3, 2022, almost three years to the date of our last visit. M.E.L.T. has accomplished a lot during this time: building the first library of its kind in the Northern region of Malawi, publishing & shipping six new titles for the library (3,000 books), designing & publishing the Simple Words Kits and the vocabulary wall charts for the 20 primary schools in our program.

A four-member team, Andy Burns, Rev. Dr. Andrew Long, Carol Stevens, and Heather White will have a rigorous itinerary. A few high points include meeting with Malawian dignitaries, the grand opening library ceremony, a book inventory & processing new books, school visits, teacher trainings, visits to our two satellite libraries located in remote villages, meetings with teachers for their input as we develop new materials and taking hundreds of photographs for upcoming books.

This trip has the added challenges of stretching our resources due to overwhelming price increases. As always, we will find needs and projects once on the ground in Malawi. Please consider a donation to this trip. No amount is too small. Our projects have included building classroom benches & storage cabinets, teaching easels, and boxes of chalk (an important tool in Malawi).

We began our programs in 2015 and we have held fast to our goals. The devastating fire in 2019 and the global pandemic have only served to strengthen our commitment to the teachers and children we serve! We thank you all for your continued support!

Help MELT Continue our work




A big thank you to DKGIEF! M.E.L.T. has received shipment of the 560 sturdy vinyl picture-word vocabulary charts the Malawian MELT teachers requested! These will support learning in rural classrooms that lack even the basics!

A big thank you to DKGIEF for sponsoring this new book for the M.E.L.T. library! 500 copies of this will be added to the MELT1 Book Mobile service that travels to 20 remote primary schools in the Northern Region of Malawi. Growing literacy one book at a time!

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hillside school mobile library children holding MELT published book

HOW IT ALL BEGAN

Between 2008 and 2014, five short term trips in Northern Malawi focused on training primary teachers to teach early reading. Although the Malawian teachers were grateful and enthusiastic learners, the trainers were dismayed by the severe lack of curriculum materials and early reading books.


THE NEXT STEP

A three-person team (Margot McGorman, Mike Miller, Heather White) traveled to Malawi in April 2015 to meet with government education officials and Malawian teachers who had participated in the training program. This visit confirmed the ongoing need for early literacy readers, teacher training, and supplemental classroom literacy materials.


NOW: M.E.L.T.

The M.E.L.T. Committee was formed December of 2015 to continue these early literacy efforts in Malawi. M.E.L.T. has commited to a literacy project in the Northern Region of Malawi which:

  • Develops and publishes K-2 early literacy readers.
  • Provides an alphabet fluency kit for each teacher in our program.
  • Purchased a Land Cruiser for use as a bookmobile.
  • Offers teacher instruction in early reading practices
  • Hired a Malawi Field Director to manage the bookmobile service year round.
  • Built a library to store and distribute our books and materials.


MELT is an Ecumenical Mission Project of the Watertown First Presbyterian Church.
Meet Our Team

Meet Our Team



Heather White
Heather White

Team Leader

Heather recently retired after 36 years of teaching. She is a founding member of WOGWF and M.E.L.T. Heather has traveled to Malawi six times. Her passion is working with the children of Malawi.She is the main author of our MELT books.

Carol Stevens
Carol Stevens

Board Member

A retired teacher with experience teaching grades 1-4 and Reading Recovery. Carol was a member of the 2014 mission trip. She regularly contributes to the development and editing of MELT books.

Rodwell Schinga
Rodwell Schinga

Malawian Resource Teacher

Rodwell visits the schools quarterly to assure materials are in good condition and field any questions the teachers may have about the lessons or materials. An exemplary teacher who is the link back to the annual professional development workshops.

Carolyn Osborne
Carolyn Osborne

Board Member

Has worked over 35 years in the printing industry. She is currently owner of a small commercial print shop. Carolyn prints the books and educational materials for M.E.L.T. She also regularly contributes to the editing of MELT books.

Margot McGorman
Margot McGorman

Board Member

Has an M.S. in communication disorders and has worked as a speech pathologist for over 30 years. She traveled to Malawi in 2015 as a member of Outreach Council. Margot regularly contributes to the editing of MELT books.

Moses Mtambo
Moses Mtambo

Assistant Director in Malawi

Moses assists Sam with performing the many MELT tasks in Malawi. They work together and, when Sam is busy with Parliamentary work, Moses makes sure that MELT keeps running smoothly.

Joanne Lavarnway
Joanne Lavarnway

Board Member

Is a former K-4 reading teacher. Joanne has assisted in composing books for Malawian children. She is a volunteer for community agencies.Joanne regularly contributes to the development and editing of MELT books.

Peyton Hnyla
Peyton Hnyla

Board Member

Originally from Maryland. Graduated from Salisbury University in MD. Has been a substitute teacher. A 2019 MELT trip traveler. Peyton is beginning her graduate work in School Psychology at the College of St. Rose.

Anni Ghambi
Anni Ghambi

Malawian Resource Teacher

Anni visits the schools quarterly to assure materials are in good condition and field any questions the teachers may have about the lessons or materials. An exemplary teacher who is the link back to the annual professional development workshops.

Barb Eldridge
Barb Eldridge

Board Member

Is a retired K-3 elementary reading teacher. Barb was a member of the 2013 mission trip. While in Malawi she taught model lessons in five schools. Barb regularly contributes to the development and editing of MELT books.

Patricia Constable
Patricia Constable

Board Member

Is a 4th grade teacher and has been in education for 24 years. She has expierence teaching kindergarten through 4th grade. Patti regularly contributes to the development and editing of MELT books.

Sam Chirwa
Honorable Sam Chirwa

Director in Malawi

Honorable Sam Chirwa is a member of Parliament & the Field Director of M.E.L.T. He is the connection between local Malawian officials, the teachers, & the US team. He is responsible for coordinating the Book Mobile Program. He is also the current Field Director for the WOGWF.

Malawian Teachers
Malawian Teachers

On-the-ground Team

The teachers involved with M.E.L.T. represent over 2,000 K-2 students. They vary widely in teacher education & classroom condition. Some classrooms have desks or benches while others are set up outside with a chalkboard & stones as seats. These hard working, resourceful teachers want the best for their students & the future of Malawi.

Andy Burns
Andy Burns

Board Member

A SUNY Potsdam graduate with an Art Studio major & writing minor. Owner of SnakeTree Productions. He handles M.E.L.T.'s print & web design needs, book editing, email marketing, and photography & videography duties.

“Education is a human right with immense power to transform. On its foundation rest the cornerstones of freedom, democracy and sustainable human development.”

~Kofi Annan

Our Services

M.E.L.T. provides the teachers and students of Northern Malawi with four key services: early literacy publications, teacher training, teachers' edition manuals, and a mobile library that transports the materials to the classrooms.





Early Literacy Publications

MELT is committed to providing culturally appropriate early readers. These readers will be about Malawian children for Malawian children. Research shows that when children are learning to read, they are more successful when the pictures are familiar to them. In a country where most homes do not have electricity, a picture depicting 'V is for vacuum' is useless. The book collection will include readers written about Malawi village daily life, Malawi science and culture, and important basic health and safety concepts.





Teacher Training

The MELT program includes ongoing early literacy training for primary teachers in northern Malawi. All teachers will receive an alphabet literacy kit and classroom training in the best practices with these materials. We will continue to provide teacher training as we publish additional early literacy materials. This will ensure that children receive high quality instruction as they learn to read.





Teachers' Edition Manuals

We will provide instruction manuals for teachers to use after each training workshop. These manuals will include detailed examples of the best practices for the early readers, ABC Fluency Kit, and other early literacy materials.





Mobile Library

Our purchase of the Land Cruiser allows the MELT Field Director to transport materials to and from teachers in rural schools. Most of our village schools are located in the bush, over very rough terrain, making access quite difficult. The Book Mobile allows these remote schools to share a large pool of early literacy materials to teach young children how to read.





 

Help Us Provide These Services

You can help us provide these vital services in a number of ways: donate funds, sponsor a book, ask us to speak at a meeting or function, and spread the word.



Donate Funds

Many of you have been a huge help providing the funds for the purchase of the M.E.L.T. Land Cruiser. However, our expenses don't stop there. Building and publishing our early literacy library, creating and printing the teacher manuals & sound cards, and maintaining the Land Cruiser will be regular expenses we incur. Our mission trips to distribute new materials and hold teacher workshops will also require regular fundraising. Any amount you are able to contribute will help us to continue providing our services to the children and teachers of Northern Malawi. Make checks payable to MELT. If you would like to specify how your donations will be used, write memo line: general funds, mobile library, publications, mission trips, or teacher resources, or selecting from a dropdown menu when donating online below. Checks can be sent to: MELT c/o H. White, 424 Paddock Street, Watertown, NY 13601.

Donations & Membership



Sponsor a Book

By sponsoring one of our books, you will provide the funds necessary to print and distribute the book. The book you sponsor will be dedicated to you or a person of your choice.

Our goal is to publish and deliver six new books by mid-2019. Help us reach our goal. Use the link below to see the books that are written and designed, and just need to be published and shipped.

Sponsor a Book



Outreach Opportunities

The Malawi Early Literacy Team is excited to announce our Outreach Opportunity. We would love to come and speak to your organization, church, or family gathering about our work in the Northern Region of Malawi, Africa! We have: a PowerPoint presentation, tri-folds, and samples of the materials we are using in Malawi. Please consider scheduling a visit from a team member and learn how you can help the young children of Malawi achieve literacy!

Contact Us



Spread the Word

Let your friends, family and co-workers know about the cause that is taking action to fortify early literacy in Northern Malawi: the Malawi Early Literacy Team. Spread the word about our mission to create and distribute much-needed litereacy supplies to the children and teachers of the remote regions of Northern Malawi. Whether you share information verbally, on paper via one of our flyers or trifolds or via social media, spreading the word about M.E.L.T. will help us garner the support necessary to carry out our goals!

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“Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.”

~Nelson Mandela

“Literacy is a bridge from misery to hope.”

~Kofi Annan

M.E.L.T. News

“Education is an ornament in prosperity and a refuge in adversity.”

~Aristotle

Contact Details

We would love to hear from you. Use one of the forms of contact listed here to ask questions, join the conversation, voice your concerns, or book us to speak to your group or organization.

Thanks for keeping in touch!

MELT is an Ecumenical Mission Project of the Watertown First Presbyterian Church.

New York

403 Washington St.
Watertown, NY 13601
info@m-e-l-t.org


Phone: 315.782.1750
Fax: 315.782.2360

Donation Info

Make checks payable to:

MELT

Checks mailed to:

MELT c/o H. White
424 Paddock Street
Watertown, NY 13601

*If you would like to specify how your donations will be used, write memo line: general funds, mobile library, publications, mission trips, or teacher resources.
Donations & Membership

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