The Miracle at St. Andre's
Building and operating a school in a country of chaos and poverty is a difficult task. But look at St. Andre’s in Hinche, Haiti! Beginning four decades ago, St. Andre’s Episcopal School in partnership with St. Dunstan’s has:
- Grown from 37 students in three elementary grades to a dynamic student body of 1,500 this school year – enrolled in classes from pre-school for 3-year-olds through the 13th grade, the final level of high school in Haiti -- 16 years of education! Every year we invest in training our teachers who are eager to improve.
- Expanded from a single room with flimsy construction into a group of sturdy 3-story buildings with about 40 classrooms and a separate kitchen that serves a daily hot meal to every student, teacher and staff member. All the classrooms have electricity from solar panels, and the school has a modern sanitation system with flush toilets and a large septic tank. Its walls are reinforced concrete designed to withstand earthquakes.
- Built and maintained its own well with clean water while also providing students with filtered bottled water to drink.
- Provided an unmatched education that is producing the highest levels of student achievement in all of Haiti. We now graduate over 100 young adults a year into a future of opportunity. Our students test at or above the 90th percentile level on the mandatory national exams, year in and year out. They learn French, Spanish and English, study the sciences of biology, physics, chemistry and the environment, and learn mathematics through trigonometry and calculus. They are taught history and social sciences, computer science including the use of laptops donated by our Carmel Unified School District, and have access to trade school courses on Saturdays.
- Made good health a fundamental part of school. Two school nurses with volunteer assistants educate students in personal hygiene and health care, including the importance of hand-washing and brushing teeth. They dispense vitamins and anti-worm medication to our youngest children. The students receive annual eye exams, and we provide glasses as needed with assistance from Vision for the Poor.
- The daily meal is a nutritious, high protein diet of fresh vegetables, meat and fish grown in Haiti. There was a time when teachers complained about pupils falling asleep from hunger. Now they fret when some kids fall asleep after our hot meals. Our students are so healthy looking you can pick them out on the street.
- Educates children from the local Hinche community, and now talented children from rural areas that do not have access to education as well as children of refugees fleeing the violence in Port-au-Prince.
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