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school partnership

June 2013 Update

MCLC Update June 2013

March Update 2011

Bonjou dear friends of MCLC,


Three teachers, the principal, and 2 bi-racial students who served as translators, visited from Fayerweather Street School. They brought new Mother Tongue Books made by their pre-k through 4th grade students. They brought and taught strategy games for which we had asked. They provided guidance on class management and how to make our lessons more concrete. We worked with microscopes looking at water drops and vegetable tissue.

Local Arts Center

Several adults and students are engaged in weaving trash receptacles and chairs, embroidering bags and clothes. We feel confident this project will eliminate our plastic trash problem by encouraging neighbors to buy local goods.

Open Space

We had a Saturday meeting with teachers and community members from Gransous, Bwanwa, Masikren, and Matènwa. The theme was: How do we build a democratic community? The discussion topics that emerged were very interesting. “Can a community develop in the midst of conflict? What is democracy? Can a community develop when there discrimination?

Whole School Meeting

Students share their feelings about what went well at school and didn’t go well for them, praising each other for positive behavior. After that several classes share something they have been working on in their classroom.

MCLC Friends, we hope you are pleased to receive this information.

Direction Committee Secretary Millienne Angervil

Translated by Chris Low

December Update

Dear MCLC Supporters,

We thank you for our dedication to the vital work happening in the Matènwa Community.  Haggerty School (Cambridge, Massachusetts) librarian, Karen Kosko, connected us to FACES children’s magazine.  We have been working on two projects: one featuring 10 students between the ages of 9 – 14 and one longer photo interview of a junior high student for FACES’ Fall 2011 publication.



My name is Peter-Frantz. I am eleven years old. I was born and raised in Haiti. I live in Nan Jozen, La Gonave. My school has a library where I can do research. I like Haiti very much because it has a beautiful culture and a beautiful language: Creole. I like to drink coffee because the Haitian coffee is the number one coffee in the world. In my country people have lots of respect for others regardless of where you are from. I am proud to be Haitian.

MIT linguist professor, Michel DeGraff, has a grant this year to work on technology-enhanced and Kreyòl-based education.  He is currently at the stage of working with an evolving team of educators and programmers to produce a suite of Kreyòl and computer-based games for the teaching of 4th grade math.  He has been working with the MCLC teachers this year, having made four visits to the site so far to brainstorm and plan a controlled experiment to evaluate the effects of such games.

You can see an excerpt that’s currently being translated (with voice-over) on plate tectonics, along with another video on photosynthesis at . The original videos are at and  Also in the works: subtitles for a calculus video from MIT’s OpenCourseWare:

Michel is still looking for more programmers with knowledge of Kreyòl and 4th grade math, further down the road we’ll need help from researchers familiar with Haiti, educational technology and experience in assessing educational interventions.


Chris Low, Executive Director

Driscoll Extended Day Program Fund Raiser

The Driscoll Extended Day Program (DEDP) is a non-profit after school program that takes place at the Michael Driscoll School in Brookline, MA. Every year DEDP hosts a charity craft fair–this year the program was happy to donate to the Matènwa Community Learning Center, having been particularly impressed with MCLC’s multi-faceted approach to helping its community. Through the yearly event, teachers hope their students will start and continue on a path of social responsibility.

Kids from Kindergarten through 5th grade worked from September to late November making crafts, baking sweets, and selling raffle tickets for the event. Teachers from the program donated gift certificates and services to be raffled off. The event was a huge success, and the students involved were genuinely interested to learn about the people they were helping in Haiti.


November Update

Dear Supporters,

A picture tells a thousand words.  With all the disheartening news one can get very discouraged and feel that contributing to Haiti is like throwing money into a hole in the ground.  The Matènwa community assures you that your contributions are making our land fertile and the growth of the children’s accomplishments in their social and  academic lives tangible. They are making holes in the ground to plant trees, fruits, and vegetables.

When you feel that Haiti is caught in an endless cycle of despair remember MCLC’s school cycle and discussion circles. Each annual cycle shows progress, their circles encourage critical thinking skills and self-determination.

The MCLC teachers’ work is vital to a successful collaborative model.

Please share these pictures to tell the positive story.






Preschoolers in the Garden






Whole School Weekly Meeting






Story Time in the Library


Every dollar counts. Thank you for remembering us each month.


Chris Low in behalf of MCLC

October Update

October 2010

Dear Friends of Matènwa,

During difficult times change and new life emerges. We are beginning our 15th year with new administrative structures and roles. Abner Sauveur and I, co-founders and co-directors for the last 14 years will now be able to do more outreach to other schools in Haiti and the US as our new team of directors, Ezner Angervil Chair, Millienne Angervil-Petion Secretary, and Roseline Obel Resources Manager, take over the daily administration of the school.  Abner will promote school gardens and pedagogy in and beyond Matènwa, and I will be executive director of MCLC, as well as focusing on the creation of more Mother Tongue Books and school partners.

Our team spent two and a half weeks in the Boston area observing and in conversation with classroom teachers, students, and administrators at the Fayerweather Street, Atrium, Belmont Day, Rafael Hernandez, and John M. Tobin Schools. This trip was sponsored by the Fayerweather Street School’s Matènwa Teacher Exchange grant. The team met with the newly formed Friends of Matènwa Board. They then returned to do a week of orientation. The trip is already bearing fruit.

Yesterday’s email from Millienne read, “ We had a great opening day of school. After sitting in a big circle to welcome students and their parents, they entered their classrooms. Teachers explained what they planned for the year and discussed expectations for parent participation. We had each parent talk about their child. It was a truly exciting day!”


Chris Low

Executive Director MCLC