Charity Baptist Educational Development Ministries

It was an exciting week as it woke up the sleepy town of Kerema and took it by surprise! Nearly 40 Government Elementary Teachers, from several areas of the Gulf Province, converged on the Charity Baptist Church to attend a very historic and ground breaking event that covered a full week of Advanced Phonics Training. What great enthusiasm was seen and heard by the many participants who attended each day of sessions. Such an honor was given to us to be involved with the Education Department and to bring in an instructor who not only could teach the teachers, but could also get them to understand and begin to use what they learned so quickly. Hats off to Miss Melissa Nadaskay of Ocoee, Florida, for taking the time out of her holiday to come to the swamps of Kerema in the rainy season and give of her talent to our comrades of Education. Miss Nadaskay put in a very full week of intense training sessions and workshops. She used her developed skills of teaching to get all her areas of discussion across to her pupils. Running through an entire Phonics Book, and also developing class participation each day, gave a great mixture of constant learning and hands on practical applications. “It truly was the “First of its Kind” for the Gulf Province,” as spoken by our Director of Education, Mr. Joshua Aivei. He began several of the sessions explaining to participants and stakeholders as well of the need to bridge the gap that stands in the way of our Gulf Children’s educational needs. He said we must begin at the beginning and fix the problems that we have caused in the past. Looking then for a bright future as we expand and excel in the area of Phonics. Yes, we are truly seeing the growth right before our eyes.

As the Administrative Director of CBEDM, it was my honor to give a devotional each morning that made each member of this team think about some areas that effect the lives of those we teach. CBEDM has been used for the past many years to bring in teachers for our educational institutions. Now, it is time for us to train the teachers that we already have in place. A full range of development courses are soon to be offered to the teachers in our Primary Schools as well as our High Schools. Yet, Phonics is Foundational; we must be able to build upon it with success! We must grasp it now to build the lives of our students for tomorrow. I want to thank all those involved in this new opportunity of learning and commend them for their faith in us. Thanks to the Education Department and the Gulf Provincial Administration for their support and encouragement. Our prayer is that our relationship will continue to grow and that CBEDM will be a stepping stone for all of our schools within our borders of Gulf. Let us Strive for Excellence!!!

Dr. J Moody Gray, LM
Administrative Director


The week of 15 July, 2013, brought me into contact with some of the best minds in Gulf Province, Papua New Guinea! I had the privilege of working with the Director of Education in Gulf Province, Mr. Joshua Aivei, to help fill a long-standing gap in the Gulf Education System. The Advanced Phonics Training course, which I was given the honour of teaching, was provided in facilities offered by Charity Baptist Church on behalf of the Charity Baptist Educational Development Ministries of Kerema, G.P. It was the first of many anticipated workshops to help raise the standard of education in Gulf Province.

What a blessing it was for me to stand before 37 other adults, most of whom were older and more experienced than I, for five days to instruct them in elementary phonics for the English language! Our time together was short but profitable. I hope to soon hear of good results from our labours, as these educators use their new skills to train a generation of young readers!

Monday morning began with addresses from Director of Education Mr. Joshua Aivei, and Administrative Director of the Charity Baptist Educational Development Ministries, Dr. John Gray. I then introduced myself and reminded the participants of the importance of teaching young children to read. Finally it was time to begin the first session of intensive phonics instruction.

Dr. Gray requested that I use the A Beka Book, Inc., phonics textbook Handbook for Reading as I conducted this week’s sessions. The Handbook follows A Beka Book’s plan for teaching young children to read in just “six easy steps.” Each participant received a copy of the textbook, as well as a packet with other useful items, and an official welcome letter from CBEDM.

On our first day together, the participants received instruction and practice in the first four of the “six easy steps to teaching reading” from A Beka Book:

  1. Learn to recognize the short vowels and their sounds;
  2. Learn to recognize the consonants and their sounds;
  3. Learn to blend; and
  4. Learn to sound one-vowel words.

Throughout our lessons both Monday and Tuesday, I also took a few moments to explain how to teach children to print each letter of the alphabet. The greatest challenge for my students was learning to produce the unfamiliar sounds of the American short vowels, but they all worked hard to achieve success. It was fun for them to learn a foreign language as if for the first time!

Tuesday brought further instruction in Steps 2 through 4, as well as an introduction to Step 5: Learn the sounds of the long vowels, and learn to sound two-vowel words. We also went over a basic explanation for many key terms involved in learning to read, such as “sentence,” “phrase,” and “syllable.”
Wednesday began with a thorough review, then progressed to Step 6: Learn the special phonics sounds. I used several teaching aids to help me teach the 132 special sounds contained in the A Beka Book phonics program. This rather involved sixth “easy step to teaching reading” took all of Thursday and most of Friday to finish. However, by three o’clock Friday afternoon, the participants were able to teach one another all the way through their Handbook for Reading!

One of our favorite activities throughout the week was the practice time I tried to provide each time we finished covering a large section of the material. The participants also enjoyed getting involved by leading the class, writing or marking on the whiteboard, and singing two phonics-related songs! Perhaps the highlight of each day was our lunch hour, as we savoured a delicious meal specially prepared and served by the Gulf Provincial Administrator’s wife, Mrs. Avae!

Friday afternoon was the official closing-out ceremony for our Advanced Phonics Training course. Gulf Provincial Administrator Mr. Marc Avae honoured us with his presence, along with the Deputy Administrator and other members of his staff. Several educational leaders also took part in the closing ceremony. Speeches, an overwhelming presentation of gifts, delicious food, and the presentation of certificates to each participant closed out our wonderful week together! I am grateful to have been given the opportunity to come to Kerema, Gulf Province, and to provide this small service for the Education Department. May God receive the glory that is due HIM for His enabling throughout the week!

Miss Melissa Nadaskay, M.S.