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L'Amitie pour Haiti (Friendship for Haiti)


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Keywords: service learning, haiti, cross-curricular, french
Subject(s): Art, Video, Technology, Social Studies, English/Language Arts, Service Learning, Civics, Foreign Language, History
Grades 9 through 12
School: Rondout Valley High School, Accord, NY
Planned By: Christine Berg
Original Author: Christine Berg, Accord
Through a former teacher at our school who is Haitian himself, we were able to connect with a school for young artists in Haiti last fall. We sent them a flipcam, which was obtained through grant money, and began exchanging videos. My students wrote scripts in French for their videos, and practiced reading and listening skills through email and video exchanges with the students from Haiti. In between our correspondences, my students studied the geography, climate, politics and history of Haiti. We also began reading the book "On That Day Everybody Ate", by Margaret Trost, founder of the What If? Foundation. My students composed a letter to former President Bill Clinton who is the current UN Special Envoy to Haiti and received a response detailing his work there. Our original goal was to plan a fundraiser to help these students purchase art supplies. On January 12th, everything changed. Our friends' school was destroyed and many students remain unaccounted for. Our goal has shifted to sending aid so that they can rebuild. We will be sending them video messages of support and hope that they will be able to send us documentation of their rebuilding efforts with the new flipcam we will (hopefully) send them.
Comments
This project has been and continues to be one of the most rewarding experiences of my career. My students and I have become a very cohesive group because of our shared desire to help others in need. I am very proud of the compassion my students have demonstrated for the Haitian people and of their efforts on their behalf.
Cross-Curriculum Ideas
This project includes elements of English Language Arts, Social Studies, Foreign Language, Art, and Technology.
Follow-Up
Once the art school is rebuilt, and the students are able to create art again, we hope to have some of their works sent to our school for an auction, with the proceeds going back to the school.
Materials: Flip Video, CDs and DVDs, Foreign Language