ECSU faculty partner with Rotary members on international outreach project

Kesha Williams
October 15, 2008

ecsu-faculty-partner-with Faculty from Elizabeth City State University's School of Education and Psychology are headed to the Dominican Republic on an international education mission. They will donate school uniforms and school supplies to students attending Julio Arzeno School in Sousa, Dominican Republic. Their international outreach project, "Adopt-A-School International Dominican Republic Outreach Project" will benefit approximately 600 students. Four ECSU faculty will travel with eight students, Viking Fellows, to make the donations and to participate in hands-on science and math activities. ECSU faculty includes Dr. Saundra S. Copeland, chair of the ECSU Department of Education and co-chair of this outreach project; Mr. George Cox, of the ECSU Department of Education, Dr. Jose S. Gil, a Spanish interpreter from the ECSU Department of Language, Literature and Communication; Mrs. Claudia Twiford, from ECSU Department of Education and the co-chair of this outreach project. Viking Fellows are students who major in education and are expected to complete a community service project. This international outreach project stemmed from ECSU's combined observance of American Education Week and International Week last year. This group will depart October 17. It is the second time ECSU faculty members have traveled to the Dominican Republic. Last year, Dr. Copeland said the faculty delivered some school supplies but identified additional needs for the Sousa youths. "On our visit to the Dominican Republic last year, we saw Sousa elementary students who didn't have books, paper, pencils, chalk, a playground or playground equipment. They were so grateful for the supplies we delivered." Dr. Copeland said. "Those are things we take for granted but they need them as the essential tools of learning. Sousa children can't attend school without uniforms but their parents can't afford them or the school supplies. We know the children will have a better self esteem now that they have the supplies for school." In order to meet the additional needs, ECSU faculty members collaborated with Sousa school administrators, the mayor of Sousa, and four Outer Banks Rotary clubs to meet two objectives. Currituck Wild Goose Rotary, the Rotary of Kitty Hawk, First Flight Rotary and the North Banks Rotary, are partnering with the Rotary of Sousa to donate funds to create a playground for Sousa youths. The Rotary Clubs will also donate $1,250 to the ECSU Foundation for school uniforms and school supplies. The ECSU Foundation will manage funds from the Rotary Clubs and other contributors to purchase the school uniforms and school supplies. Those contributors included churches, assorted civic clubs, area residents, businesses and individuals at ECSU. A member from the Rotary of Kitty Hawk, Gail Hodges, will accompany ECSU faculty and students to Sousa, Dominican Republic to present $6,000 to the Rotary Club of Sousa for the installation of the playground. The Rotary Club of Sousa will be responsible for the playground construction. The fundraising project continues. To make a donation to the Adopt-A-School International Dominican Republic Outreach Project, contact the ECSU Foundation, 335-3603 or mail a check made payable to the ECSU Foundation. Make sure the subject line of your check states: Adopt-A-School International Dominican Republic Outreach Project. Mail checks to ECSU Foundation, P.O. Box 1467, Elizabeth City, N.C. 27906. Photo caption: ECSU faculty partner with Rotary members for the Adopt-A-School International Outreach Dominican Republic Project. Seated left to right: ECSU Chancellor Willie Gilchrist, Mrs. Claudia Twiford, of the ECSU Department of Education, Dr. Saundra Copeland, chair of the ECSU Education Department. Standing left to right Gail Hodges, of the Rotary of Kitty Hawk; John Hughes of North Banks Rotary, Russ Ley, of the first Flight Rotary, Mike Painter of Currituck Wild Goose Rotary.