CMS Teachers going to Nicaragua in April 2008

Oakhurst Elementary English as a Second Language teacher Emma Juncadella-Welch will lead teachers from Oakhurst and other Charlotte Mecklenburg schools to her home country of Nicaragua during spring break. The group will visit three schools and spend time with staff and students. They’ll also bring much-needed supplies to students.

“As life-long learners, we should strive to be aware of other cultures and the way they do things,” Juncadella-Welch said. “On this trip we will learn about the structure of the educational system in Nicaragua. We will meet teachers and interact with them during classroom instructional time.”

And, she added, some will learn things about CMS that they never realized.

“I think we’ll probably come back with a new appreciation for CMS,” she said.

That’s because many of the schools in the area are poor, she said. In fact, two of the three schools they will visit are poor — one in Managua, the capital city, and the other in El Empalme de Boaco, a rural area. The third school is semi-private but resources for teachers and students are limited.

To assist the children, students and staff from Oakhurst are collecting more than 400 pencil pouches with supplies such glue sticks, pencils, crayons, erasers and scissors to give to the Nicaraguan students.

“Students are just blown away when they see pictures of how kids live in these rural communities,” Juncadella-Welch said. “They don’t have indoor plumbing. Their houses are made of tin and pieces of wood and they have to work and go to school.”

Juncadella-Welch said she hopes this is the first of an annual effort to visit the schools and assist the children.

If you’re interested in donating supplies for the Nicaraguan children, you can e-mail Juncadella-Welch or call the school at (980) 343-6507. Donations are accepted though March 21. (CMS Intranet article).

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