Newspaper article The Topeka Capital-Journal

Man Gives Time to School in Haiti ; Topeka High Grad Spends Decade Helping

Newspaper article The Topeka Capital-Journal

Man Gives Time to School in Haiti ; Topeka High Grad Spends Decade Helping

Article excerpt

Former Topekan Will Frager reads a story to a small group of children at a school established by Center of Hope, a nonprofit and approved nongovernmental organization in Hinche, Haiti. He talks about the book's characters and asks questions. The children respond.

What is different about the Center of Hope school is the young students are allowed to speak their mother tongue, Haitian Creole. In most other schools in Haiti, teachers and youngsters must speak French, the country's authorized language but the first language of only about 5 percent of the 9.9 million people living in the Caribbean nation.

Frager, executive administrator and advisory board member at Center of Hope, said learning and instruction can't be achieved when both students and teachers are struggling to communicate with each other.

"In this school, French is taught as a second language and integrated into the classroom," Frager said. "Students are free to pose questions in Haitian Creole outside of French class."

Frager first traveled to Haiti in 2004 as a high school senior and volunteer with Global Missions Inc., an organization founded by the Rev. Max Manning that has initiated orphanages, medical clinics and churches in Haiti, as well as in India, Africa and the United States.

Following the trip, Frager enrolled in the Haitian studies program at The University of Kansas and then transferred to New York University, where he graduated in 2010 with a bachelor's degree in linguistics.

Throughout his college years, Frager returned to Haiti to do volunteer work, and in 2008 he began volunteering at Center of Hope, first as a videographer and then as a leader in developing the organization's school and orphanage.

Frager said the school opened in 2011 with a first-grade class of 15 youngsters who wouldn't otherwise have any education. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.