Laura Tobias, a 2007-2008 WorldTeach Namibia Volunteer is trying to organize an exchange program between her small charter school in Boston, MA (City on a Hill), a school in rural Connecticut (Woodstock Academy) and a school in Dakar, Senegal (Mariama Bâ). Check out her great cause below and see how you can help out!
City on a Hill students generally come majority African American neighborhoods of Roxbury, Mattapan, and Dorchester in Boston. Over 85% of our students qualify for the Federal Free and Reduced Lunch Program. Many of our students have never left Massachusetts, so for students who have very limited financial means and often no exposure to travel, this opportunity seems like a dream.
While in Senegal, students will participate in classes at the school, make and play their own drums, and visit the home of their Senegalese counterparts. They will also go to the Slavery Museum on Gorée Island, a bird sanctuary, a game preserve, and the Peace Memorial in Dakar.
We strongly believe that the students and adults who participate in these exchanges return to their respective countries as citizens of the world, with new perspectives and shared understandings. In a time when our young people often have limited knowledge of the world, such cultural exchanges provide the chance to challenge stereotypes and enlarge students’ worldviews.
In order for students to travel, we need substantial financial support from the community. Each participating family has committed $500 of their own money for this exchange. However, each student must raise an additional $3000 in order to be able to travel next April. This pays for airfare, travel in Senegal, all meals, lodging, trip insurance, and passports.
Please consider making a lifelong difference to a student at CoaH. Your impact will be most dramatic if you can afford to sponsor a student’s entire experience. But, it will indeed “take a village” for our efforts to succeed, and donations in any amount will be gratefully accepted.Checks can be made out to City on a Hill Foundation, memo: Senegal, and sent to the address below.
Please don’t hesitate to call with questions or comments. We are thrilled about this educational opportunity and look forward to sharing our enthusiasm and success with you and other members of our community.
Laura Tobias, History Teacher and Dean of Citizenship