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IMPROVING EDUCATION WITH THE OWEN PROJECT
For children who have no textbooks, no pencil, no paper, and learn by rote, the XO could be transformational. With the XO learning system, children could have an education which provides options and choices for a future and so much more.
The Owen Project works intimately with local communities to bring the XO learning system to children of the Third World. TOP has begun its work in Honduras, the second poorest country in the Western Hemisphere. It gives XOs to children in the remote mountains of Honduras and teaches them how to use them to gain an education that would otherwise be denied them. In July of 2011, The Owen Project took the first 100 XOs down to Honduras. Mark and Sally Keddal led a team that stayed a week with the tiny little hut of a school in the hamlet of Santa Rosita. They went on a field trip to the local waterfalls, taking photographs as they went. The children were delighted and took to the XOs "like ducks to water", writing independent sentences for the first time in their lives.
Hondurans, convinced of the vital importance of this project, work as partners to ensure its success. The national government of Honduras is providing free internet access to TOP schools.
Each summer since that beginning, Mark and Sally Keddal have led a group down to the remote mountains of Honduras with at least 100 XOs. They have tried to visit more schools on each visit, but what they have learned is that they must spend more time with students and teachers. Time to explore and investigate.Time to model teach. This year they realized that they must go back to school take new XOs to replace old ones and to give to new students. Teachers and students needed encouragement. Now, someone makes "follow up" visits to check on TOP schools a few months letter.
The Owen Project is named after Owen Keddal who died at the age of 21. As a teenager, he went on a mission to Honduras and returned with nothing but the shirt on his back. Moved by the tremendous needs of a beautiful people, Owen gave away his watch, his St. Christopher’s medal, his clothes, everything. He came back with, literally, only the shirt on his back, but rich and transformed by his time in Honduras. Owen’s parents, Mark and Sally Keddal, want to continue this generosity in his honor and to God’s glory.
As of 2017, over 700 XO Laptops have been provided to remote Honduran schools by the Owen project.
What is an XO? It’s a computer about the size of a small textbook. It has built-in wireless and a unique screen that is readable under direct sunlight for children who go to school outdoors. It’s extremely durable, brilliantly functional, energy-efficient, and fun.