We have a great deal to smile about as we conclude another successful year of education, support and collaboration with our schools in Haiti.
The start of the year began with the opening of the newly formed preschool in St Marc designed to give the students entering our schools an earlier start with more promise for success. One of those promising students is Carl, who our Palmyra Wiki Club Members raised money to sponsor. We are also especially pleased that Adeline, a student we sponsored many years ago from the inaugural kindergarten class, is now a teacher’s aid at the preschool helping to bring full circle the mission of the schools to “Empower Through Education.”
Arcerneau, another alumnus of Les Bons Samaritains school, has been busy this year promoting the good work being done at the schools in Haiti through posts on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. Arcerneau has done a great job facilitating communications with our students in Palmyra and our schools in Haiti through emails, SKYPE calls, and wiki & social media posts. Arcerneau sees first hand the great positive educational impact the technology provided by this project gives to the students of our schools. He reaffirms, “Technology provides a great, great future for the children of Haiti!”
Our Wiki Club Members continue conducting audio interviews with people of interest, publishing the interviews on our Project Facebook Page. Tim Lambert, of WITF, instructed our wiki team this past fall in the elements of creating effective audio interviews. Recent interviewees include Pennsylvania’s Secretary of Education, Pedro Rivera, Jeff Grabosky who ran 3,701.8 miles across America from CA to NY, Ron Berman, an outstanding career teacher and basketball coach, Kems, a Haitian student attending Lebanon Valley College, Mike Soskil, a top ten finalist for the Global Teacher Prize, and Reuters technology reporter Deborah Todd, who specializes in news and trends from Silicon Valley. The audio interviews have been a compelling means to share interests in minimizing the digital divide.
Multiple fundraising and speaking opportunities this year have enabled more people to learn about and support the good being done at our schools in Haiti. We have certainly found that the students in Haiti are blessed by the support they receive, but those providing that support are equally blessed by the opportunity to help deserving students succeed. To think that our Haitian students live in a community with no regular electricity, no sewage system, limited access to water & healthcare, but come to school so full of hope, motivation and joy; and with a remarkable eagerness to learn! We have seen firsthand the good stewards they are of the support you provide!
On June 15th another fundraising opportunity will occur when GlobalGiving’s Bonus Day will provide a 40% Match to all donations to our project starting at 9:00am EDT. This is a great opportunity to multiply the good that a donation can provide! We are grateful to GlobalGiving and all of you for making a positive difference in the lives of so many Haitian children!
Best wishes for a blessed summer!
As winter turns to spring there is a tangible enthusiasm in the air among our Palmyra-Haiti Project members. An excitement invigorated our group when we got the picture of sweet, smiling Carl who we are sponsoring at the newly opened Pre-School in Haiti.
Then in January, the Palmyra Area School District Teachers and Staff had a fundraiser for our project that raised $1,094.00! Their support and generosity will go far in providing much appreciated technology to be used by the teachers and students at our schools in Haiti.
Our project members have done a great job conducting audio interviews to learn more about local leaders and raise awareness about the unique opportunity our connection with Haiti has in minimizing the digital divide. The first four published interviews are with Pennsylvania State Representative, Mauree Gingrich of the 101st Legislative District, singer & Songwriter Olivia Farabaugh, Mr. Rob Corcoran, Assistant Principal of Palmyra Middle School, and Mr Daniel Cotchen, Palmyra World Geography Teacher. More interviews are on the way! Watch for them on our Facebook Page. (See link below) We appreciate our interviewees and the guidance of Tim Lambert, of WITF, who instructed our wiki team this fall in learning the elements of creating effective audio interviews.
We have also been blessed with the enthusiastic reception our project has received in recent opportunities to present our experiences in working with our partner schools in Haiti. The latest being the New Jersey Association of Middle Level Educators Conference in Newark this month which is the 4th presentation request that our project has had this school year.
And most enthusiastic of all is Arcerneau, an alumnus of Les Bons Samaritains, who is a champion of the good work being done at our schools in Haiti! Arcerneau has been busy in Haiti, posting happenings at our schools on Instagram (PalmyraHaiti) and Twitter @PalmyraHaiti. In a March SKYPE session with our wiki crew, Arcerneau reaffirmed the impact of your support when he said, “Technology provides a great, great future for the children of Haiti!”
Please consider posting and sharing the special giving opportunity that will occur for our project on GlobalGiving on Wednesday, March 16th from 9:00am EDT to midnight when all donations to our project will be matched by GlobalGiving at a Pro-Rated Percent. This is a wonderful opportunity that we enthusiastically endorse to provide more assistance for the students in Haiti.
We cannot end our theme of enthusiasm without thoughts of the enthusiastic, hardworking students in Haiti. The smiles on their faces say it all. Thank you for your support.
This holiday season, we delight in the joy of Carl. Our Palmyra students hoped to sponsor a student from one of our partner schools in St. Marc, Haiti. Students conducted a fundraising campaign that involved selling coupon books. The fruit of our students fundraising labor is the sponsorship of Carl! Carl is a kindergartener enrolled at Les Bons Samaritians School in St. Marc. Carl has brought a great deal of joy to us all and smiles to all whom have seen his picture. We look forward to having a long-standing relationship with Carl and to watch him grow and learn through the technology that this project has helped to provide for him and his peers.
Please consider a 2015, tax-deductible; year-end contribution to help provide the technology that Carl and his peers will require to become educated global citizens in a connected world.
We wish you all the joys that this season brings. We hope that the pictures of Carl and our Palmyra students in this report lift you up in the spirit of the season. We wish you a happy and prosperous New Year and thank you all for your continued support.