Students Respond to Haitian Earthquake

By Bryan Toporek — January 14, 2010 1 min read
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While the world watches horrific images of earthquake victims roll in from Haiti, a number of American students have taken relief matters into their own hands.

The Palm Beach School District in South Florida has partnered up with Missionary Flights International, Red Cross and United Way to organize a collection of food and personal items for the earthquake victims.

And four elementary schools in Windham County, Vermont, were hit particularly hard with the news of the devastation in Haiti, as they had teamed up with Haitian schools (before the earthquake) as part of a “conservation training project,” where American students would send gardening tools and seeds to Haitians.

Meanwhile, some American colleges and universities are continuing to search for missing students and faculty members who were in Haiti at the time of the earthquake.

Florida-based Lynn University has come in contact with most of its 12 students that were in Haiti for a week-long service-learning trip, but as of this morning, they still hadn’t touched base with the two faculty members on the trip and one of the students.

The University of Florida also continues to search for two of their journalism graduate students who were in Haiti making a documentary. According to the university, the last they knew, the students were at an orphanage outside of Port-au-Prince.

Sophie Perez, country director for Care International, was an eye-witness to the devastation that the earthquake caused. As Haiti attempts to pull itself from the rubble, Perez finds herself concerned with the future of Haitian children, according to the U.K.-based Guardian.

“We’re particularly worried about the children, because so many schools seem to have collapsed,” Perez said. “In Haiti children go to school in the afternoon. Children were still in school when the earthquake hit, so there are many children trapped.”

Update: The New York Times ran a great feature today called “Five Ways to Teach About Haiti Right Now.” If you’re looking to add some Haitian earthquake awareness to your classroom, check it out.

A version of this news article first appeared in the Web Watch blog.