We recently returned from a visit to our project partner schools in Haiti. If there was a word to recap our visit, it would be joy. Joy in the opportunity for health, life, safety, and education, which are not to be taken for granted in Haiti. Joy for the amazing opportunities that technology provides through our project. Joy of collaboration and connectedness between students in the United States and students in Haiti.
The two youth from the United States that came with us on our trip to Haiti served as ambassadors of our Palmyra-Haiti Technology Project. They came with curiosity, excitement and joy and they were met with reciprocal curiosity, excitement and joy from their peers in Haiti. Light colored skin, light hair and braces were curiosities. A love of soccer, technology and learning were commonalities.
As adults, my wife and I were filled with joy watching students from different cultures, backgrounds and languages joyfully interact with each other. It was a genuine validation of the work that this project is accomplishing.
It was a fruitful visit from our project’s productivity standpoint. We met with students and staff at both of our partner schools, Les Bons Samaritains and James Stine College, to discuss and collaborate on our Palmyra-Haiti Technology Project. At Les Bons Samaritains (our elementary school), we conducted training on technical aspects of wiki usage. At James Stine College (our High School), we had trainings on Facebook and GlobalGiving posts along with discussion of current and future technology needs at our two partner schools. We will share those needs with you in a future project report.
We had a deeper joy with these meetings. A joy of accomplishment and of a continued future of accomplishment through your support. Johnson, Yves, Servius, are a few of the incredibly bright and talented student leaders at James Stine College who have benefited from our project. Servius was highlighted in an article by the Pittsburgh-Post Gazette regarding post Haitian earthquake success stories. His featured success was his technology prowess, in part, thanks to your support of our project. Look for other updates and pictures of this joy filled visit in future project reports, but know that your support has, is, and will continue to make a significant impact in the lives of students in Haiti and in the United States.
We thank you for your support of our recent Microsoft, Youth Spark Fund Matching Day! Thanks to the generosity of many, our project received over $1,500 in donations during that campaign.
Please celebrate our project’s success by sharing posts and encouraging others to like our project on Facebook. And thank you, also, for partnering with us to bring joy to the faces of our students in Haiti. Your investment is making a real difference in the lives of these deserving students!
Best wishes for a joy filled holiday and a happy new year.
As we approach the end of the year, we reflect on some of our project achievements and look forward to a coming year of renewed opportunity. Through it all, your support continues to sustain our project and to help it prosper.
In the spring of this year, we have had the great privilege of being guests of His Excellency, Ambassador Paul Altidore,at the Embassy of Haiti in Washington, DC. Along with great Haitian hospitality, we were warmly recognized for our project’s accomplishments.
As summer started, our project was awarded a grant to purchase an Intel Classmate PC to show our supporters in the United States, the technology we have purchased for our partner schools in Haiti.
In November, some of our project members participated in the High Hopes for Haiti 5K run (HHH5K) in Baltimore to support our schools in Haiti. Both active and alumni members of our project were present at the 5k event.
As we close out the year, we will be heading to our schools in Haiti to help facilitate some technology training for students and staff at our schools. We will be bringing a signed card from our students at Palmyra to give to our students in Haiti and our Haiti students will be doing the same for our return trip.
An important opportunity to help our project to continue to accomplish great things is through an amazing Giving Tuesday event! As you think about holiday giving please keep our project in mind. Please mark your calendar for Tuesday, December 2nd (9am and 3pm). Once again, Microsoft#YouthSpark will provide a 100% Match to all donations to our project at 9am and 3pm on#GivingTuesday – December 2nd!
As always, your ongoing support is greatly appreciated.
It is hard to describe the oasis that the Good Samaritan School and the James Stine College are in the midst of so many economic and environmental challenges present in St. Marc, Haiti. It is an oasis of hope for all of the enthusiastic students fortunate enough to attend the schools, their families who love them, the faculty and staff who work to bring out the best in them, and the financial support of many that is needed to fuel their academic achievement. The students value the faith put in them and have demonstrated that by their achievement on the Haitian National Exams. On the most recent exams, James Stine High School ranked 3rd in the Department of Artibonite out of 257 other schools in passing percentage of 12th graders with 97% passing. (The regional passing average was only 20% for 12th graders.) In addition, 100% of our 6th graders at Les Bons Samaritains passed the National Exam.
Know that your support is providing opportunities for bright, gifted, hardworking students to discover and maximize their potential! In this our 5th year on GlobalGiving, we look forward to celebrating more good things happening in Haiti!
Thank you for partnering with the students of Les Bons Samaritans and the James Stine College!
Thanks to your continued support, touching stories have been a welcome byproduct of our project. One such story is a tale of two brothers, Sam and Tate. Five years ago this month, our project started its journey on GlobalGiving. Sam was in 7th grade and Tate was in 2nd grade. Sam participated in our project through work on our project’s wiki and by doing video and radio promotions for it. Tate, inspired by his brother’s heart for Haiti, decided that he wanted to contribute to his brother’s adopted cause as well. He hosted a birthday party and encouraged his friends not to bring presents for him but to bring donations to our project instead. His friends generously donated $200 to the project back then.
Fast-forward five years. Acclaimed author, Homa Tavangar, picked up on this act of kindness by a young elementary student and published it in her coauthored book, The Global Education Toolkit for Elementary Learners, as an example of how students can make a positive global impact through acts of generosity. Tate’s inspired act of kindness from his brother’s positive example can now be viewed by many on page 169 of this very worthy book, coauthored by Becky Morales. Our project is also highlighted on page 98 of this wonderful resource. Pictures and information about this book can be found at the conclusion of this update.
Please help stories like this continue! Mark calendar for Microsoft YouthSpark Bonus Day, which will begin June 25, 2014 at 12:00:00 PM (EDT) (noon) and will end June 26, 2014 at 11:59:59 (EDT). There is $200,000 available in matching funds from Microsoft. Matching is applied at 100% for every donation from $10 up to $1,000 per donor until matching funds run out. What a great opportunity to help celebrate our 5 years of success on GlobalGiving by continuing the legacy of what you have helped to start. Please share this report with friends and family who may want to help enhance the learning opportunities of children in Haiti.
Your support has enabled so much good to come about in our schools in Haiti! As we celebrate our 5th anniversary on GlobalGiving this month and look back over our previous 25 project reports, we celebrate the accomplishments your support has helped bring about.
In the fall of this current school year, Jenn Eason from GlobalGiving conducted a site visit to our facilities in St. Marc. Jenn had a wonderful visit interacting with our students and seeing the technology you have helped to provide in use offering unprecedented learning in St. Marc as you can see in the video link provided with this report.
As the year progressed, we were able to celebrate the progress of our project through presentations at the Pennsylvania Science Teacher’s Convention at Penn State University, the Embassy of Haiti in Washington, DC, the National Science Teacher’s Convention in Boston, a Haiti gathering in Pittsburgh, and at a local education foundation in our home town of Palmyra. We continue to spread the word about the good being done in Haiti thanks to your support.
This school year also marked the publication of the acclaimed book, The Global Education Toolkit for Elementary Learners by Tavangar and Mladic-Morales. Our project is highlighted on page 98 and 169. Look for more on this book in an upcoming project report.
Our project recently was awarded a grant from the Lebanon County Chapter of the Pennsylvania Association of School Retirees (PASR) to purchase a Classmate PC laptop for use with our project leaders in Palmyra. The Classmate PC is an Intel product designed in particular for schools in developing countries. These are the laptops purchased for primary use at our schools in Haiti. They are an amazing product that are like a laptop, E-Reader, and a tablet rolled into one.
Please mark your calendar for Microsoft YouthSpark Bonus Day which will begin June 25, 2014 at 12:00:00 PM (EDT) (noon) and will end June 26, 2014 at 11:59:59 (EDT). There is $200,000 available in matching funds from Microsoft. Matching is applied at 100% for every donation from $10 up to $1,000 per donor until matching funds run out. What a great opportunity to help celebrate our 5 years of success on GlobalGiving by continuing the legacy of what you have helped to start. Please share this report with friends and family who may want to help enhance the learning opportunities of children in Haiti.
Thanks again for your support!
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Teacher / Project Director