We are in the middle of a project to help Haiti. Who isn't? But I just love how this project came together. The earthquake happened on JAN 12. Our preacher talked about it on Sunday, JAN 17. After church, Alba & I talked about an all school service learning project to help Haiti.
Monday was Parent/Teacher Conference Day (also Martin Luther King, Jr. Day) so we were able to propose our project to the other teachers. The idea was to have all the teachers teach something about Haiti in their classes. Elementary teachers could teach about Haiti wherever it fits best. English can write about it, geography and history can study Haiti and art/music can focus on Caribbean art and music. Other teachers might have to get creative. The science teacher said his anatomy class is studying diseases and his earth science can study earthquakes. Tech-Ed is studying structural Engineering. They can learn why the buildings in Haiti fell down during the earthquake. Everyone was on board and willing to take part in our all school project.
I wrote a letter that was sent home with the elementary students on Tuesday. It explained our project and asked for donations of items needed for health kits (wash cloths, hand towels, hand soap, band aids, combs and fingernail files). I also sent a similar message to my school newsletter e-mail list. One of the people on that list is Zeke Campfield, reporter for the Lawton Constitution.
Zeke wrote back and told me he could come to Indiahoma on Friday to do a story about our Haiti project. We all got in gear. Nicole spent some service learning money on health kit items so we'd have some things to package when Zeke came. Students made fliers and posters and hung them around town. Carrie got T-shirts made for the service learning group who will present our project at the state capitol on FEB 1.
On Friday morning, several elementary students brought their donations to the library where we took pictures of them. They donated a lot of items. When Nicole brought hers over, there was a long table full of stuff. When Zeke got there, he interviewed Casey and Brya, the two students who are going to the state capitol. He also got information from Carrie and me and then took pictures of the kids putting together the health kits. They made 42 health kits and had 33 partial kits started. Zeke thanked us for letting him come cover this story. We thanked him for coming to Indiahoma and putting the story in the newspaper. We were hoping it would be in the Sunday paper and he said that was a possibility but they might hold it for the Tuesday family section.
On Sunday morning, there was our story on the FRONT page, above the fold. And what a great story it was. It was listed first under TOP STORIES on their web site.
It's very exciting to be part of this project. It came together easily, people are working creatively and enthusiastically and it's just a very good thing.