Jeff Smith, NBC 5 News
J'Layne Sundberg will spend her summer in Africa helping train new teacher for a new school for orphans in Kenya.
In just a few hours, one North Texas teacher will fly to Africa to spend her summer vacation training new teachers at a prep school for orphans.
Lewisville teacher J'Layne Sundberg hasn't had much time to relax in the few days since school ended, she's been busy packing and preparing lesson plans for her summer trip to Kenya.
"It's actually winter in Kenya," she joked. "So I won't be working on my tan. I will be focused on teaching all summer."
Sundberg is a teacher at Donald Elementary School. She's one of a handful of teachers from around the country who is helping give hundreds of Kenyan orphans a better life.
Right now, Cornerstone Preparatory Academy in Kenya is a school of 50 young orphans, learning in a converted cow shed.
"They want to learn, they have a hunger for knowledge," she said.
But a new building is going up soon, with new teachers and hundreds more students. The goal is to have 500 students, the same size as Donald Elementary.
Sundberg will be mentoring teachers and developing a new curriculum.
"I just try to incorporate little fun activities to engage the students, because they don't have that," Sundberg said.
She said she'll try and teach the Kenyan teachers tools to make learning fun.
"I like to be able to incorporate several subjects together, so by reading a book about shapes or basic math problems, you're getting reading lessons in and math lessons in at the same time. Then there's extra time for a game or for another activity. They don't have that style of education, it's a more regimented approach to learning," she said.
Because of a local connection, the director of Cornerstone Preparatory Academy visited Donald Elementary this spring to learn the American style of teaching. Now, Sundberg is spending her whole summer returning the favor.
"It's very humbling, because it's not something I ever thought that I would do," she said. "I love being a teacher, but I never imagined that being a teacher would allow me to reach children on the other side of the world."
Sundberg will be in Kenya for seven weeks.