The Belmont Day School is an independent school that began partnering with the Matènwa Community Learning Center (MCLC) about a year ago. This year, students, family and friends pitched in to support the children of Matènwa through a fun and healthy activity. Here’s their story.
Hike and Hope for Haiti
Eighth grade French students organized a fundraising hike to raise awareness about the needs of the Matènwa Community Learning Center in Haiti. We began our partnership last year when French teacher Jennifer Friborg introduced her seventh grade students to Chris Low, Cambridge-based educator and Matènwa school co-founder. Last spring these students took part in an e-mail pen-pal exchange with the school in Matènwa.
Students and faculty alike were so impressed by the ways in which the school is spreading democratic ideals by teaching children, providing community activities for adults, and serving as a teacher-training center that BDS embarked on this ongoing partnership. Over its thirteen year history the school has become a leader in progressive education in Haiti, a country where only 50% of children go to school.
In response to the urgent need for food following the early fall hurricanes, the eighth grade French students led a special fund-raiser.
Teachers and students throughout the school participated in a 1-mile hike through the woods surrounding BDS. The French students had placed signs along the trails to highlight important landmarks in Haiti as well as photos of the school. The eighth graders’ hike was sponsored by family members, friends and faculty in order to help them reach their goal to feed all of the 230 students at the Matènwa Community Learning Center for one month.
The goal of feeding the school for a month was reached and surpassed by the school community raising over 3300 dollars. And along the way, the whole school became more aware of the country and familiar with the Matènwa Community Learning Center.
We are grateful for the care and concerns that the students at the Belmont Day School show for the students of Matènwa.