AISS Foundation
The American International School System Foundation - Building Bridges and Strong Minds

The School Year Comes To An End…

Students gather on the front lawn of the final day of classes.

Today, students and staff said their goodbyes as the school year comes to an end, but their farewells will just be for a few months during summer vacation.

We would like to specially thank our Foundation’s supporters for allowing us the opportunity to
educate and reach children in Pakistan.

This year has been extremely successful. We’ve worked hard to increase our students’ proficiency levels, the amount of parental involvement activities we offer, and the availability of technology in each classroom.

Our plans for the upcoming school year include expanding to the eighth grade and developing programs that reach even deeper into the local community.

We wish everyone a happy and safe summer. And, we look forward to seeing everyone again next year!

See Photographs of individual classes on Facebook.

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In Case You Missed It: Founder’s Interview on WOR Radio

AISS Founder, Dr. Munr Kazmir joined Ritz Cosby on the The Steve Malzberg Show today (WOR Radio 710 AM) to discuss the American International School System and Foundation.

Listen by clicking the Play button below.

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Foundation Raised Over $9,000 for Library

The right to think is the beginning of freedom. And as such, our school’s library is the hub of the American International School System’s mission of training independent thinkers who are able to stand up against violence and extremism.

And at our school in Lahore, we outgrew our library’s current space. Check-outs and requests for materials increases each passing day. The library is a resource center open to teachers, students and families as well as the whole community.

Over a two-week period, the Foundation successfully raised $9,780 to expand our school library.

This funding will provide for increased square footage of the library, chairs and tables for study, new shelving and of course more books.

Thank you so much for everyone’s help!

Posted in:  Fundraising, News

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First AISS Parent Teacher Organization Election A Major Success

Parent Teach Organization Election

Tonight, The American International School System, in Lahore, Pakistan, held it’s first ever Parent Teacher Organization election. The response from parents was very exciting. With fifty percent of the school family participating, the race for each office was very tight.

The following people were elected to leadership positions: as President, Mrs. Saira Ahmad Noon; as Vice-President, Mrs. Asma Zaheer; as Secretary, Ms. Samia Saranym and; as Treasurer, Ms. Saema Goraya.

The Parent Teacher Organization is an important part of developing strong cooperative partnerships among parents, teachers, and the school. Through more interaction with AISS faculty and staff, parents will gain a deeper understand of how children develop and learn. Most importantly, they will establish a network of friends and mentors who also seek to create a home that reinforces learning.

See photographs of the event on Facebook.

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Creating a Parent Teacher Organization at AISS

The American International School System held an organizational meeting for parents wishing to establish a Parent Teacher Organization at AISS. The meeting took place today at 2:00 PM in the school conference room with sixteen parents attending.

After a formal welcome by the Vice Principal Ms. Nausheena, Principal Mark Rozic presented the salient features and the objective of a Parent Teacher Organization and Senior Director Ansar Batool explained the importance and the role of a PTO in United States. Parents were also provided a sample bylaws for the future organization.

While the PTO is being initiated by the school, it will formally be taken over by the parents and teachers when formed.

See photographs of the event on Facebook.

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Children’s Book Fair Showcase American Books

The Scholastic Book Fair Carnival came to Lahore!

Hundreds of families delighted yesterday in an exciting atmosphere of great books, thrilling stories, and fun at the American International School System in Lahore, Pakistan. Readers of all ages walked away with the grandest prize of all: a lifelong love of reading!

Literacy levels in Pakistan are today among the lowest in South Asia, with only Bangladesh and Nepal lagging slightly behind. The national literacy rate is 54 percent out of which 66.25 percent of men and 41.75 of women are literate. The impact this has on lives is profound.

Our Book Fair is a wonderful way to promote reading and to offer the community access to great books at affordable prices. Children are also more likely to read books they personally choose.

The day also included a music concert, family funfair, puppet show, magic show and face painting surrounded by books the entire day!

See photographs of the event on Facebook.

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More Than 1,000 People Attend AISS Dog Show

A Labrador named Warrinqah Wara was judged the best dog on Sunday at the American International School System’s “All Breeds Dog Show” in Lahore, Pakistan.

Over a thousand guests attended the event sponsored in collaboration with the Kennel Club of Pakistan. 300 pooches participated in the friendly canine competition for top honors in various categories including: Best Puppy, Reserve Best Puppy and, Best Baby of the Show.

Dr Saeed Elahi, the Parliamentary Secretary for Health, attended the event as guest of honor while the President of the Kennel Club of Pakistan, Col Roy applauded the efforts made by the American International School System.

Dogs were judged by the International FCI (Fédération Cynologique Internationale) and the result were as follows:

Best Dog of the Show – Warrinqah Wara
Breed: Labrador
Owner: Mr. Nasrullah Khan

Reserve Best Dog of the Show – Mina Flash Rouse
Breed: Rottweiler
Owner: Qasim Wajid

Best Puppy of the Show – Waka Waka
Breed: German Shepherd
Owner: Zubair & Numan

Reserve Best Puppy – Clint Vom
Breed: Rott Weiler
Owner: Shazada, Imran, Mudassar Rasheed

Best Baby of the Show – Rachna Jono
Breed: Labrador
Owner: Nasrullah Khan

See photographs of the event on Facebook.

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Students Visit 2,000 Year Old Fort‎

Middle School students of the American International School System traveled to Lahore Fort and the National Tower today to learn about Pakistani history and architecture.

No one knows exactly when Lahore Fort was built but it was first mentioned around 1021 AD when Mahmud of Ghazna conquered it. The Royal Fort was constructed around 1566 A.D. by the Mughal Emperor, Akbar the Great. Akbar demolished the old mud fort and constructed most of the modern Fort, as we see it today, on the old foundations.

The Minar-e-Pakistan is a marble tower built in commemoration of the Pakistan Resolution and reaches 72 meters above the ground.

Learn more about Fort Lahore.

Learn more about Minar-e-Pakistan.

See photographs of the trip on Facebook.

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AISS 6th Grader Takes 1st Place In English Speech Competition

Congratulations to 6th graders Aliyah Kazmi and Alyzae Adnan for clinching two gold and one silver medals for AISS on the first day of the Co-Curricular Festival. Allyah Kazmi took 1st place in the English Speech category and 2nd place in Girls Table Tennis while Alyzae Adnan took 1st place in Girls Table Tennis.

Students from Pak-Turk International, ICAS Girls School and the International School of Choueifat all join AISS for the 2nd Annual Sports Festival during our Co-Curricular Week in Lahore Pakistan.

Watch our students recite poems during the competition:

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English Instruction in Pakistan

by Jeffrey R. Dalton

Teaching abroad is a job replete with challenges. Put that job in a developing nation and make sure that every student is a second language learner of English and you have my first job as the designated librarian teaching first grade language arts in Pakistan. But if teaching is a rewarding experience, then mine must be twice so.

Taking young children, from ages 4 to 5, who cannot read yet and introduce them to the world of letters and words is remarkable. Last year, my fellow teachers and I took a foundations course in Reading and Literacy through the George Washington University. The goal was to raise our awareness of the teaching strategies of which we have basic knowledge and to learn to employ those strategies with intent and sound method. A noble goal for any teacher, but there were many problems we encountered along the way. Would these strategies work in a bilingual environment? What about children whose parents do not speak English and thus cannot help them do their homework? Most of the teaching strategies we learned about certainly apply across all languages. And well, a parent not helping children do their homework is just one of the many problems we must work around in this profession.

After speaking with some of my fellow elementary school teachers about how they’ve incorporated some literacy-based learning into their lessons I’ve realized that our teachers here at the American International School, Lahore have benefitted immensely from only one course in foundations. On particularly sound strategy our second grade teacher, Miss Wajiha Ghays, told me about takes very little time but its usefulness grows exponentially as each child becomes more aware of the world around them. She would encourage children to take note of street signs, banners, and storefronts and to expand their vocabulary, employing a style we all now recognize as Environmental Print. In spending just five minutes of class, or even pre-class, time during the morning she was teaching them that the world around them was full of riddles and that reading would unlock their meanings. She even took it a step further by labeling nearly everything in her classroom. Oftentimes teachers will label classroom items with a designation such as cubby, door, chair, desk, etc… But this teacher labeled things that you wouldn’t see at first glance. Boxes of markers, colored pencils, and other school supplies had labels. The parts of her computer had labels. Things in her desk, which she would take out for specific lessons, had labels: notebook, flashcard, stamp. I even saw pencils and pens labeled!

Some great ideas I personally ran with included incorporating music and songs in my classes to memorize short and long vowels. After the second month or so of class, I started to notice that my first graders were having lots of trouble identifying long and short vowels and were, thus, mispronouncing words. My kids loved to sing, and they love music so the idea seemed “a no brainer.”
Miss Aneela Sajjad, our third grade teacher, shared some of her observations with me. New to teaching English, Miss Aneela was pleased to learn about consonant clusters and diphthongs. As she now has a word for these concepts she felt she was better able to share her knowledge and instruct her students.

Our grade 4 teacher is Miss Aamnah Zafar. She told me that she is particularly excited about and focused on building her students’ academic vocabulary. She clearly demonstrated understanding all of the most important aspects of vocabulary building. That is to say – her instruction was active, interactive, daily, and varied. She focuses on comprehension and not rote memorization. And thirdly, she employed the words in a real world context.

One fun game she plays with her students is vocabulary musical chairs. She would place flashcards on chairs. On each flashcard there would be a word and directions prompting the student for the word’s meaning, synonym, antonym, prefix, or context (use it in a sentence). She also only assigns a small number of words per week, to ensure retention: 10 language arts words and 4-5 science words. One of her students has a high spatial intelligence (he’s picture smart) and thus responds well to one particular science vocabulary lesson where students draw pictures of words. Also in science class, during the beginning of the year, she would introduce vocabulary words and prompt students to guess the word definition from its context, whether in a sentence or diagram. She also gives fantastic homework assignments, such as asking a student to identify the day’s grammar lesson in a book, newspaper, or magazine. This example she gave me was her lesson on superlatives and comparatives.

Lastly, I asked her to explain how she administers writing assignments. What she described to me was textbook process writing. First she has the students brainstorm and then write a first draft in class. If there’s time or during the next lesson, she has each student revise his or her own paper before giving it out to other students to review. She said she even stresses that each student read for content. She admonishes them not to worry about grammar conventions such as spelling and punctuation. She said she fully understands how important peer-review is and that, if anything, her class suffers from too much group study and group-based activity.
There are as many different methods as there are teachers. And, naturally, knowledge of the abstract strategies is no guarantee of classroom success. Nevertheless, it is rewarding to know that you can take already good teachers and make them into teaching power-houses by giving them the words to better express their ideas, raising their awareness level, and show them how to do what they love even better.

Jeffrey Dalton graduated from New York University in 2006 with a Bachelor of the Arts in Linguistics. He spent 3 years as a junior project manager for a software developer by left in 2009 to pursue a career in teaching. He is currently the school librarian and first grade language arts teacher at the American International School System in Lahore, Pakistan.

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