SPECIAL TO THE TIMES
A group of Daytona State College students will travel to Haiti this spring to help make a difference in the lives of children attending a “little sister school” there.
The group will travel to College Susan Schuenke, a pre-K through grade 13 school in the city of Cap Haitian May 29 through June 5 as part of Teaching Beyond Borders, a service-learning initiative founded by School of Education Professor Donald May.
The group of 13 will primarily include Bachelor of Science in Education majors, a few Associate of Arts majors and one nursing student. May’s colleagues, education professors Margie Hensler and Maryann Gromoll, also will make the trip.
“We want to fill a need with sustainable changes,” May said of the group’s mission. “We want to win these teachers over and at the same time show our own future teachers another perspective we believe will serve them well in their careers.”
The group is soliciting cash donations through the Daytona State College Foundation to help offset the nearly $1,800-per-person cost for the trip, much of which will be borne by the students themselves. They also have been collecting in-kind donations: equipment such as bulbs for overhead projectors, laptop computers for teachers, white paint, recreational equipment and various school supplies.
This semester, the students have been learning strategies for teaching English language learners and working in teams to develop projects that will promote literacy in the local Haitian community, skills they can transfer to their own stateside communities, particularly rural ones, when they earn their degrees and begin their teaching careers.
Lesson for education majors
“Our education majors will work directly in the classroom with Haitian teachers, observing and working on their projects,” May said. “Students with no education experience will help with physical improvements to the school and playground, and participating in activities during recess.”
The students also will conduct a needs assessment that will be used by Teaching Beyond Borders participants next year, and will prepare presentations for symposiums offered through Daytona State’s School of Education.
Anyone interested in contributing to the Haiti project can go to the website www.teachingbeyondborders.org/ and follow the group’s activities on Facebook.