The United Brothers School of Munoz

by Project Esperanza
Vetted
Jun 15, 2010

Summer Vacation: Teacher Trainings & Administration Changes

Final exams ended last week and now the children of Muñoz are on summer vacation. To prepare for the upcoming school year, we will attempt to hold some teacher training sessions. The reason I say "attempt" is because we are pioneers in this specific type of school and we're working to develop a somewhat new, integrated curriculum so training teachers in a developing curriculum is not easy. We are attempting to move more and more toward teaching in Creole. This is met with resistance from some teachers, especially older teachers, because they were forced to do school in French growing up in Haiti. Now they are an immigrant in the Dominican Republic. Creole is spoken in the home and Spanish is spoken in society. What good does French do? Some are offended when told this directly but it is a truth that must be considered when considering the best way to prepare students for their future. Therefore, when teacher trainings are held, this discussion often rises and lots of focus has to be on changing the mindset of teachers. Hopefully this summer we will be able to move past that and have some more productive teacher training sessions. A member of our board of directors, a Haitian professor in the department of international outreach and research at Virginia Tech, tentatively plans to take a trip down to hold some teacher training sessions. We hope he can make it!

Also, regretfully, the morning director and one of the school's co-founders, Evantz Lafontant, will not be continuing with the school this upcoming school year. He abused the trust given to him by fellow co-founder and afternoon director Garry Jacques, Project Esperanza leadership, and the teaching staff. He solicited aid from a visiting Canadian man, telling him that the school was unsupported and teachers worked simply out of the goodness of their hearts. This man then began sending Lafontant funds to support the school which Lafontant pocketed. He then began acting disruptively and strangely attacking the afternoon school and director by putting foreign locks on classroom doors so that teachers would arrive at school unable to enter and teach. On the last day of school he boarded up the building so that the afternoon school could not hold their final exams. The director removed the boards and held class as normal. Lafontant showed up at the school halfway through, asked Garry how he had entered, and ordered the students to leave. Half of the students had not yet finished their exams. This building is not rented by Project Esperanza but by a separate source connected to the church that also uses the building. This is the reason that Lafontant had a disruptive sense of authority. Therefore, it is necessary that we find a separate building for the upcoming year. Also, we are now able to provide more oversight and accountability as well as solutions to problems from lessons learned so that similar situations do not continue to occur in the future.

Thank you for your interest and support!

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Organization Information

Project Esperanza

Location: Winchester, VA - USA
Website: http:/​/​www.esperanzameanshope.org
Project Leader:
Caitlin McHale
Director
Winchester, VA United States

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