Project Esperanza Student Sponsorship

The Service Club at Pace did a Bake Sale to raise money for Project Esperanza, the organization I work with in the summer. It serves students of Haitian origin who live in poverty in the Puerto Plata area.  We were able to sponsor these 5 students for this school year by raising over $500 to buy books and uniforms and help pay their teachers who make a very small salary themselves.  Great job!

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Project Esperanza Donation

I am proud of my French C Honors students who asked what they could do to help Haïtian children who live in the Dominican Republic during our Skype interview with the Director of Project Esperanza, Caitlin McHale.  After finding out that they could send a student to school for an entire year for $100, they realized that their small class of 9 could make a difference for a child by working together to raise some funds. They even asked some of the Spanish students who joined our Skype session to contribute to their cause and raised $130.  L’Union fait la force!We sent the $130 in class today via PayPal.  The students should receive a profile and picture of their sponsored student in their emails soon!

Find out more here:


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Chanson de la Semaine: “Mezanmi”

We studied this song in 8th grade French C and French C Honors this week as part of our unit on Civil Rights, Immigration, and Haïti.

Luck Mervil and Corneille: “Mezanmi”.

SPRENCH classes

Last week, the entire 8th grade class took a trip from Atlanta to Montgomery, Lowndes County, Selma, and Birmingham, Alabama, and Memphis, TN. The focus was to explore the journey of the Civil Rights Movement in the United States. As a French teacher, I think it is important to teach more than grammar.  It is essential for students to understand the struggles that many different groups of people have endured in this country’s history (for example, about 100 years ago, French-speaking immigrants from Quebec also suffered prejudice as they tried to make a better life in New England.) and that they also look beyond our borders so that one day their language skills and cultural understanding may be used for good.

In an effort to tie our 8th grade Civil Rights trip together with our cultural studies, I had the opportunity to team teach a unit on immigration with Mrs. Jiménez (MS Spanish teacher). We discussed racism and discrimination in America against the immigrant speakers of both of our languages. I also presented information about immigration and discrimination against Haitian immigrants in the Dominican Republic that parallels what has happened to immigrants in the USA.   I learned about this during a trip last summer, when I worked with many undocumented Haitians in the Dominican Republic. It was fascinating to see that discrimination against immigrants is something that happens in many parts of the world.

My D period French class has also been researching and making presentations about Haïti as part of a unit on Haïti and Martinique. Both 8th grade French classes have studied a song, in Haïtian Créole, and studied the French lyrics as well.  It was fun to compare and contrast the two languages and find out that we could read it a little bit!Screen Shot 2013-05-03 at 10.29.17 AM Screen Shot 2013-05-03 at 10.29.26 AM

Today my E period class teamed up again with the Spanish students as we Skyped with Caitlin McHale, director of Project Esperanza in the DR. The mission of Project Esperanza is to create positive change in the city of Puerto Plata, Dominican Republic. They work with the Haitian refugee population through providing a home for boys and supporting several grassroots schools. Caitlin shared with us what is is like to leave the comforts of the US and start a new life in a community where she speaks three different languages all day long. Students had many good questions, and even learned some Creole. Mesi, Caitlin!

My summer work update

I thought some of you might be interested…As some of you already know, I taught English in the Dominican Republic for part of the summer, working primarily with children of Haitian origin through a grassroots organization called Project Esperanza.  I am also sponsoring one child so that she can attend school this year.  Because the Dominican Republic doesn’t recognize these children as citizens, their access to education is limited.  It only costs $100, and her tuition, books, and uniform costs are covered!

Here is 5 year old Clichie with her mom and sibling.

Click on the picture to find out more about Project Esperanza!