For two years, Sr. Sharon Slear, Provost at Notre Dame of Maryland University, and former Dean of the School of Education, has led a team of faculty and staff during the summer to a very small, extremely impoverished island community called La Gonâve. This island lies in the bay of Port-au-Prince, Haiti. The area, hit hard by the 2010 hurricane, is very barren and with little water available due to water exploitation and weather, agricultural development suffers. While many nations have come to the rescue in terms of medical care, new wells for water, and other economic development, there remains little to no opportunity for an adequate education.
Sr. Sharon has worked to bring teaching supplies and support to help the teachers of La Gonâve (some of whom only have a 9th grade education themselves) be better prepared to help students improve their skills. Over the past two summers, Sr. Sharon has helped these teachers identify the signs of children with varied needs or delays in social and emotional development as well as focusing on special education topics - including the recognition of and response to anxiety, ADHD, autism and related issues.
This summer, Sr. Sharon will return to this island; however, this time, her mission will be to transport these teachers to Port-au-Prince where she will train them to improve their instructional practice in mathematics and the use of manipulatives. The cost to sponsor each teacher is approximately $2000.
Recently, Dr. Gary Thrift, the new Dean of the School of Education, was pleased to present to Sr. Sharon a check in the amount of $1500 to help sponsor one of these teachers. These funds were raised entirely by the School of Education faculty and staff. It is our sincere hope that others in the NDMU community will hear this call for help and will pledge additional support to Sr. Sharon and her team as they endeavor to train, educate, inspire, and excite these novice Haitian teachers.
If you are interested in donating to this cause, please forward your SSND Haiti Project contribution to Sr. Sharon Slear, 4701 N. Charles Street, Baltimore MD 21210. If you have any questions email Sr. Sharon.