As Mrs. Ramos-Starks reflected on what it meant to her students to receive the supplies that just arrived at her school earlier this week from Allendale Columbia, she shared this: “Our students feel grateful. I was able to capture their excitement. It is something new to them. They are students who are used to much less. They were very happy to see all the books. Thank you.”
Mrs. Clinton, instructor in drama and music at Allendale Columbia School, is a member of the Filipino-American Association of Rochester (FAAR) and when she approached the AC Middle School Student Council about helping Mataas na Paaralang Neptali A. Gonzales School after Typhoon Ondoy several years ago, the students were overwhelmingly excited to extend their support. According to Jeannie Clinton, “We did a food drive following the Typhoon Ondoy and successfully shipped 500lbs of food and vitamins to the Mataas na Paaralang Neptali A. Gonzales School and they were incredibly grateful.”
Now, the relationship between Mataas na Paaralang Neptali A. Gonzales School and Allendale Columbia School has developed into a long-standing partnership that is strengthening the global IQ of all the students involved. Over the years, the two schools have formed a friendship that now encompasses a more in depth understanding of both cultures. In addition, we are partnering in projects across multiple disciplines including music, math, architecture, and science.
- AC students will take part in designing experiments and then capture video of their experiments to share with the students in the Philippines. Simultaneously, students in the Philippines are producing English videos to share with AC students as they develop their English skills and create authentic content.
- AC students are currently doing an in depth study of the housing and commercial structures in the Philippines which will connect to an architecture project in Math 8.
- In music, AC has added a component of ethnomusicology into the seventh grade curriculum.
Mrs. Ramos-Starks was kind enough to stay awake until the early morning hours to Skype with AC students, “It’s 2:00 a.m. here. We have experienced this [type of typhoon] before and usually the floods cause problems for us. I have a co-teacher and during a prior typhoon the flood came almost to the roofline. Our school is in a high place, but some of our students live in low-lying areas. If they have to evacuate, they are usually placed in schools where one classroom is designated for several families. If you are going to watch videos, you will see the impact it is having; it is very scary. Every Filipino is praying for our safety.”
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