Education at St. Paul’s School
Education at St. Paul’s School
School days, school daze–what are your best memories of school as a child? You must have some! The desks, the blackboard, a favorite teacher, friends you made, scraps with rivals, what you managed or fought to learn, the boredom, bells, activities, the smell of the place, the everyday-ness of it, how you got there, how you got home. Report card drama, class clown comedy. We spent years there, youth there; mostly good came of it.
But what if you didn’t have school–at all? If there never was a school to have memories of, good or bad? In the U.S. school is a given–literally–public education, at least, is free. There are private schools in Haiti if you can pay, some quite good, but not accessible to most Haitian kids. There are government schools, but not everywhere–and you still have to pay! Most rural families especially have little or no access to education; and a good education, we know, is the one surest path out of dehumanizing and debilitating poverty. With an education, at least you have a chance; you can find yourself at the bottom rung of the ladder out of at best a very difficult life.
The Colorado Haiti Project is proud to say that with our Haitian partners we helped build and continue St. Paul’s Episcopal School, a splendid school in one of the poorest and most remote areas of Haiti. In 1996, Colorado Haiti Project pioneer Marti O’Dell and Father Octave La Fontant began a fundraising drive among St. Paul’s Parish friends and supporters in Colorado to start a primary school. Over time the school grew from serving students in three or four outdoor classrooms to the construction of a two-story school building.
Education is an essential–and expensive–necessity. A kindergarten class is highly sought after, and is quite a step up from pre-school. It involves more licensing and training for the teachers, and the learning materials are costlier. Same is true for the higher grades, esp. what we’d consider middle-and-high school. Teachers must be trained well, and incentivized to stay in a rural area during the school year. Eventually, we hope to train local teachers through our vocational and scholarship program, but the children need their schooling NOW.
Each year the school continues to expand, now serving students from preschool through 9th grade. This year we will provide scholarships for nearly 700 children. It is quality education that helps a child up the bottom few rungs of the ladder they need to climb to make their way in life. Education is the clearest escape from the debilitating poverty that dehumanizes too many kids in Haiti. We choose the Creole word KONBIT for the program support of St. Paul’s: Konbit means “coming together to act for the common good.” We think Jesus would like Konbit, if he knew Creole—maybe he did!
We are raising money for the present school year ending in August: one child’s annual sponsorship is $300; and a class sponsorship is $3,000 to $6,000. Both go to resource the students with good teachers, daily lunch, books & supplies. In Haiti, nearly all public and private schools charge tuition, and so the poorest of the poor are most often denied access to the benefits of an education. Thanks to Konbit sponsorships at St. Paul’s School, the families around Chevalier and Petit Trou de Nippes have an opportunity to send their children not only to school, but to one of the best schools in the region. All students are welcome to benefit from and join St. Paul’s, regardless of religious affiliation — St. Paul’s is a community school.
A single sponsorship is $300
A class sponsorship is $3,000 to $6,000
Please contact our office for more details 303-938-5021 or donate online.
Together we help sustain a welcoming environment, where hope for a better life is real, because access to a good education is real.