Some of the many students involved in our project
It is hard to believe that we have recently had our one-year anniversary with GlobalGiving. We are very thankful for all GG has done, for your support and the help of countless others to facilitate the growth and development of our project. In this update, I’d like to present some of our achievements over the past year and to preview an anticipated expansion of this project for our second year of partnering with GlobalGiving.
In June of last year, we saw hope in a time of uncertainty. Our project helped students and staff rebound a bit after the effect of Haiti’s devastating earthquake. Our project offered a positive distraction and a future of hope during the daunting task of earthquake recovery in Haiti.
During the summer of 2010, volunteers went to Haiti to construct and paint the computer room at Les Bons Samartians that would be used to house the laptops from our project. As the summer progressed, our project was the focus of a Central Pennsylvania local morning radio show. For an hour, our students were interviewed about the good things our project was accomplishing and the future potential of our project.
During the fall of 2010, the computer room at Les Bons Samaritains was outfitted with Classmate PC computers along with a classroom interactive white board. On GlobalGiving we were selected out of the nearly 3,000 projects hosted by GlobalGiving for their “Project of the Month” club for our project’s “high impact and innovative effects”. Our project started to grow in popularity on the Internet receiving nearly 500 new hits a month on our Palmyra-Haiti Pilot Wikispaces account. We were featured as one of the “Best of the Best” Glogs on the GlogsterEdu site as well.
During the winter of 2010-2011, our Palmyra-Haiti wiki club remembered the one-year anniversary of the devastating earthquake in Haiti. Our club, consisting of student and teacher volunteers within the Palmyra Area School District, continued to build a learning and collaboration platform on our wiki. The club also raised funds for this project and humanitarian aid for Haiti. The club gave our Palmyra students a taste of what it is like to run a non-profit organization. Industry professionals from the central Pennsylvania area gave their time and talent to our project in areas of marketing, web design, video production and more to help our project grow. We continue to be grateful for the generous support of our volunteers.
In the spring of 2011, our club posted a variety of YouTube videos to market our project to a larger audience and to capture the flavor of how this project may impact the people of Haiti. One of those videos can be seen on the links below. We also created a Facebook page for our project to help expand our reach. That link can be found below as well.
We ended the combined school years of Palmyra and Les Bons Samaritans with a touching Skype exchange between our students, which is noted in more detail on our previous update. We have grown our wiki popularity on the web from nearly 500 new hits per month in the fall to nearly 3000 new hits in June. In addition, Intel has generously kicked off a dollar for dollar matching campaign for our project, which continues as I write this update.
In a later update, I will expand on the future potential of our project but I would like to highlight one important, anticipated event that will be happening this fall. Les Bons Samaritains has been so successful that a secondary school has been built and will be opening this fall. The James Stine College (link below) will continue the great work started at Les Bons Samaritains. Our project has raised enough funds to start a computer room at the James Stine College and we hope to move forward with it in the coming months.
I would like to conclude this anniversary update with a few notable quotes from the year.
“Nice work. We need all the humanitarians we can get.”
~Johnny Colt, CNN iReporter and The Black Crowes guitarist.
“This is the best idea”
~Lisa Landis, WJTL morning host
“Nous sommes tous heureuses pour les ordinateurs et pour ce projet.”
“We are all happy for the computers and for this project.”
~Johnson, Cirius, Carmelle, Nadia, Fédeline, Chriscy, & Dieula
“I’d just like to say thank you to everyone involved in the project for making this a life-changing experience for me- and I hope that through this I’ve made a difference in others’ lives, too. “
“Through my communication with the people of Haiti, my respect for them has grown and my appreciation for the life I live has been prevalent. These lessons are extremely important for my future and this amazing project is helping me to develop them now."
As you can see by these quotes and by this anniversary update, your donations are making a deep and lasting, student-driven, impact. I would urge you to consider making an additional donation today of any amount during Intel’s dollar for dollar matching campaign for our project. Together, we can expand and sustain the accomplishments of this past school year and build for the future.
The computer room at Les Bons Samaritains
James Stine College near completion
Our Palmyra students working on the project