Notre Dame’s Alliance for Catholic Education (ACE) partnered with the Episcopal Commission for Catholic Education and Catholic Relief Services (CRS) to begin the Haiti Reads project in August 2014, working to improve the literacy of Haitian children.The initiative is sponsored by a $1 million grant from an anonymous foundation, with additional funding and personnel provided by ACE and CRS, according to a University press release.Emily Danaher | The Observer Kate Schuenke-Lucien, associate director of Haitian Catholic Education Initiatives for ACE, said the primary goal of the project is to help Haitian children to “learn to read, to read to learn,” a mantra the project uses to promote the long term benefits of increased literacy. Haiti Reads is trying to improve students’ ability to read and write in Creole, which is spoken by 95 percent of the Haitian population, and French, which is the language primarily used in educational instruction, Schuenke-Lucien said.“We know that early literacy is incredibly important for educational success for children,” she said. “Basically, children who don’t learn to read well in the early grades are not able to continue in school.”According to the Haiti Reads press release, this explains why 50 percent of the Haitian adult population is illiterate and why only five percent of students continue past primary school.Haiti Reads works with some of the 2,400 Catholic primary and secondary schools in Haiti as a way to “renew and strengthen Catholic education to provide an improved education and opportunity for the children in Haiti,” TJ D’Agostino, associate director of Haitian Catholic Education Initiatives for ACE, said.“Catholic schools are the biggest single educational provider in the country so [Haiti Reads] is a way to make a pretty big dent in trying to improve education quality in Haiti at large,” he said.Schuenke-Lucien said the project’s approach to their mission is two-fold.“[Improved literacy] would happen by improving students’ test scores and students’ ability to read and write … and then also by improving the ability of the teachers to deliver a high quality curriculum to the students,” Schuenke-Lucien said.The Haiti Reads team began training teachers in approximately 50 Catholic schools in August 2014, and the teachers implemented the newly crafted curriculums in December 2014, Schuenke-Lucien said.Jaime Zarafonetis, associate director of teaching and learning for ACE, said Notre Dame is excited to work with the teachers in Haiti.“The Haitian educators are exceptionally dedicated, and we feel really grateful at ND that we are working with so many knowledgable and committed educational leaders [in Haiti],” Zarafonetis said.As of now, 49 percent of Haitian third graders cannot read either language, Zarafonetis said.Tags: ACE, Alliance for Catholic Education, Catholic Education, catholic relief services, Haiti Reads
Andy Mossey and Steph Whatton know how to road trip. The couple does it for a living. Mossey and Whatton are a traveling trainer team for Subaru and Leave No Trace, driving across the Eastern U.S., educating schools, camps, and the general public about Leave No Trace principles. They live year round in an Outback and spent 250 nights camping last year. “The best part of living in your car, is you have everything you need to adventure all the time,” says Mossey. “If we have a couple of hours of free time, and we’re in a spot with incredible climbing or trail running, we’re ready to go.” After a year on the road, Mossey and Whatton have dialed in their road trip gear and system. Here, they outline their favorite pieces of road trip gear.Taxa TigerMoth ($12,900)AM: We recently put a trailer on the Subaru. It only weighs 900 pounds, but has a queen sized bed and a pull out kitchen. There’s tons of storage room…it’s amazing. It’s designed to give you every piece of living equipment, as if you’re living in a basecamp.Big Agnes Double Z ($110)SW: I couldn’t do this job without that thing. Getting a good night’s sleep is crucial, and this insulated sleeping pad is more comfortable than the mattress in my last apartment.Thule Sonic XL ($659)AM: This roof box is our gear closet. It has a super rigid design, with tons of room for all of our climbing gear. Says Whatton, “It’s so sturdy, and unbelievably durable for all weather conditions. I don’t know what we’d do without it.”ENO Hammock ($60)SW: We have our ENOs with us at all times—a DoubleNest and a SingleNest. I really like the new strap system, the Helios, made from Dyneema. They’re really lightweight but also user friendly. The SingleNest is key if we want to have our own space. We’re together all the time, so sometimes that’s nice.Camp Chef Everest Stove ($125)AM: We’re big foodies, making food every day, twice a day. It’s a two-burner stove that’s incredibly reliable You can cook anything on this stove. Our go-to meal is vegetable stir fry, with curry rice.Rinse Kit ($90)This little tub of sanitation holds and pressurizes two gallons of water so you can get clean and hit the town immediately after that trail run, ride or climb.Mazama Sidestream Hydration Pack ($39) The Sidestream provides a smooth, bounce-free run and an easy, one-handed drink motion that doesn’t interrupt your stride. Just pull the hose to your mouth and drink.SOL Urban Survivor Kit ($80)This grab-and-go emergency backpack filled with all the necessary essentials to survive when a disaster strikes, including water, food, survival tools, and first aid.Yakima Streamline $199-towers, $119-crossbarsYakima reinvented rack Streamline features towers that can adjust to most car shapes, and new cross bars that are more aerodynamic, but also stronger than their predecessors.
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