Saturday, February 13, 2016

Serving Learning in the DR

On Thursday, February 11th 26 students and 4 chaperons departed for the Dominican Republic on a service learning trip.  GD students and teachers in conjunction with the Community Service Alliance (CSA) and Education First Tours (EF) are concentrating on field work projects in rural parts of the DR.  We are working to support two CSA grassroots projects: Salud Cerrito and Mi Vida en Juego At-Risk Youth Program.  

The rural agricultural community of El Cerrito is located in the province of  El Siebo, which is the third poorest province in the DR.  Electricity, running water, and the availability of health services are in short supply.  CSA has been working to provide a better education and promote healthier living by creating family gardens in an effort to diversify their diets and promote self sufficiency and sustainability.  The program uses baseball and softball as a hook to educate young men and women and provide students with an education and life skills to promote a healthier, better educated community. 

Yesterday the students worked tremendously hard improving the baseball and softball facility.  The field would be deemed unplayable in any town in Massachusetts, but Pedro, the baseball coordinator, deemed it 80% ready.  GD students worked in the searing heat cleaning and improving the area.  The project coordinator stated that we did three days work in one day. We are heading back to the community early this morning to build gardens, run baseball and softball clinics, and provide general improvements to the facility.  I will provide additional details as wifi and time permits.  The four chaperons could not be more proud of the students.  Mr. Woods, Ms. Bennett, Ms. Cain, and Mr. Mastrullo have divided the groups into four teams.  All teams have performed exceptionally well, but team Mastrullo, anchored by co-captains Emily Figueroa and Rose O'Malley are leading the charge.  

How the students arrive at school
On the way to serve the community

Young man departing from school

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