April 2, 2013
The position of superintendent has provided me with several opportunities and challenges over the years. An opportunity I will talk about today is the chance to see the small carpentry program which Vantage Career Center operates in the mountain village of Bordes, Haiti. Bordes is near Cap Haitien, on the northern coast. Our Interact program, which is a student club, and affiliate of the local Rotary club, has been active for several years. Its main project is raising funds and supporting the carpentry program in Bordes. Local Haitiens travel long distances to attend our small school, where they learn basic carpentry skills to help them provide a way to support their families.
I will visit the program and meet several of the local people who are integral to our efforts. Social Studies teacher Peg Bollenbacher has traveled there annually for the past 10 years, and will travel with first-time attendee Matt Miller and I. Matt is a science teacher at Vantage, and is really looking forward to the trip. It will be both his and my first experience there. We hope to confirm the need for a green shelter to be built in the next year, which would house medical care and free clinic services when visitors come to assist the people of the Cap Haitien area. The green structure uses solar power to heat as needed, and sanitize water. The entire structure is really a great science lesson in itself! More later in future blogs.
Upon return, I hope to engage several other Ohio Rotary clubs to assist our project by contributing funds toward this purpose. Rotary grants may be possible from the Rotary International site and the District club, which will aid, and probably expand, our project's scope. Ten clubs have given me their contact information already. It would be wonderful to provide a few of these structures in the areas which desperately need clean water and safe shelter for medical services.Hopefully a task force of people from these clubs will travel with us later on to construct the green structures.
We hope to attend a local Rotary meeting in Cap Haitien while there next week. Regardless of the outcome of the service project, I will return having met my primary goal, which is to see our students' work over the years, and meet the local people who have been involved with our carpentry program regularly. Words cannot describe the impact which I am certain to experience in Haiti, but I will try my best to do so in a blog or two after April 15. Today Matters, more than ever. Make your day a worthwhile one.