Mortel Family Charitable Foundation

The Foundation serves the economically, intellectually, and socially deprived children and adults of Haiti. The mission of our schools and programs is to educate and care for the poorest of the poor of the region.
Feb 19, 2013

Moving Ahead

Palmyra-Haiti Technology Meeting In Progress
Palmyra-Haiti Technology Meeting In Progress

Dear Supporters,

As we all move ahead to a new year, so too does the progress of our project.  Currently, we are in the middle of a technology infrastructure upgrade at the James Stine College in St. Marc.  We are undergoing improvements to increase the efficiency and reliability of the Internet service at the school.  We hope to utilize these upgrades soon as our collaboration continues to evolve.

At our schools in Palmyra, PA, we have a middle school club and a high school club.  Although separated by about a mile of geography, our clubs meet simultaneously through Internet conferencing which is some of the same technology we have used with our peers in Haiti.  Our high school students use iPads and Facetime to lead project teams at our middle school.  We continue to look for ways to expand our reach and our services to our peers in Haiti.

We have many events positively impacting our project this spring, such as…

  • The staff of the Palmyra Area School District had a casual dress day fundraiser for our project and raised over $650.
  • Intel Education Service Corps will visit our schools in St. Marc (see link below).
  • Our project may be highlighted in an upcoming book by a noted author.
  • A regional educational honor society has invited our Palmyra students to make a presentation about our project at an upcoming banquet.

More details on these events will be highlighted in future updates.

GlobalGiving’s first bonus matching funds day is just around the corner.  Please mark Wednesday, March 13th on your calendar.  On this day, beginning at 9am EST, GlobalGiving will match up to $1000 per donor up to 30%. Please consider a gift on that day.

If you have not had the opportunity to “Like” our Facebook page, please do so by clicking the link below.  Please share the link with family and friends.

As always, thank you for your continued support.

Links:

Dec 3, 2012

Science, Technology, and Gifts

Summer science camp - water purification lesson
Summer science camp - water purification lesson

Since 2006, we have been making science and technology education a reality in St. Marc, Haiti.  Thanks to a gift from the Presidential Award for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching, we embarked on the first elementary school, hands-on science lab in the region.  Soon after that, hands-on science training of the Haitian teachers eagerly began.  Graduate students from Lebanon Valley College's (LVC) Masters of Science Education Program contributed their time and talent to create science experiences for students and staff in St. Marc. We have also embarked on summer science and technology camps for the students at Les Bons Samaritains.  As one thing led to another, a graduate student from LVC spent a semester at Les Bons Samaritains to establish our computer technology connection to further promote science and technology education.  Since then, peers from Pennsylvania have created science lessons for the students in Haiti as you will find in the pictures and link below.  The Interactive boards we have installed have allowed science lessons to come to life like the one pictured below of the skeletal system.  Today, we continue to expand our technology to include the newly completed James Stine College. 

I recently read a report that was validating to me, as to the direction we are heading with regard to this project.  Science for Haiti: A Report on Advancing Haitian Science and Science Education Capacity (AAAS, 2011) emphasizes the critical role that science and technology education plays for a sustainable Haiti.  To access the report, see the link below.

As you consider gifts this season, please consider a gift card to give to someone who appreciates science and technology.  Gift cards can be purchased by clicking the donate button.  A $5 or $10 card could be a perfect stocking stuffer or a nice addition to a Christmas card.  More substantial gifts or recurring gifts can also be made by clicking the donate button.

Through your continued support, we are helping to make science and technology a reality for a sustainable Haiti.  Together, we can continue to build on our accomplishments and strive for a sustainable Haiti.  Thank you.

Skeleton lesson with interactive board
Skeleton lesson with interactive board
Summer technology camp - exploring mini laptops
Summer technology camp - exploring mini laptops
LVC graduate student, Ms. Lingle, working in Haiti
LVC graduate student, Ms. Lingle, working in Haiti
LVC graduate students - science projects for Haiti
LVC graduate students - science projects for Haiti
LVC graduate students - science projects for Haiti
LVC graduate students - science projects for Haiti
Summer science camp - Alka-Seltzer rockets
Summer science camp - Alka-Seltzer rockets
Our electrical circuit lesson collaboration
Our electrical circuit lesson collaboration

Links:

Oct 15, 2012

Game Changer! - Help Us Keep The Momentum!

An active class in our computer room
An active class in our computer room

Dear supporters,

Your support is reshaping Haiti’s future through technology.  In his book, The World is Flat, New York Times columnist Thomas L. Friedman proposes that access to the Internet can be a “game changer” for developing countries.  He mentions that the Internet can provide equal access to education, services, and the global marketplace.  Thanks to your contributions, Friedman’s premonitions are being realized. 

On a recent visit to our schools in St. Marc, we are seeing the fruits of our combined labors. Meet Madsen Servius. Madsen is an eleventh grader at our recently completed James Stine College. Madsen is bright, determined, enthusiastic, and innovative.  He aspires to be a computer programmer.  He is familiar with C++, Linux, Cobra, Scratch programs, languages and operating systems to mention a few items on his resume. He may be well on his way to becoming Haiti’s future Bill Gates.

While we were in Haiti, Madsen and fellow student Wadson were trained on how to upload reports to our foundation’s website and to our wiki project. These tech savvy students were eager and quick to learn.  After seeing these students work, it is evident that Thomas Friedman was accurate in predicting that developing countries (like Haiti) can be equal players in world economies and educational systems. 

You are helping us be a game changer.  Help us keep the momentum going.  We are seeking to increase available Internet access at our schools to keep up with the increasing demands of student usage.  GlobalGiving is having a matching campaign on Wednesday, October 17th, which will increase your contribution by 30%. Matching begins at 12:01 am EST. So please help us by starting early that day with a contribution to our project before matching funds run out.  Please help us by spreading this message through your social media contacts.

Thanks again for your support!  Together, we can build a brighter future for Haiti and the world.

Madsen in a wiki training session
Madsen in a wiki training session
Madsen & Wadson learning to upload on a wiki
Madsen & Wadson learning to upload on a wiki
Madsen and Wadson learning web page design
Madsen and Wadson learning web page design
Bilboard for the new James Stine College
Bilboard for the new James Stine College
A view from the top of James Stine College
A view from the top of James Stine College
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