Friends Beyond Borders



Thanks to a $9,913 grant from the NJEA Frederick L. Hipp Foundation for Excellence in Education, Soehl Middle School (Union County) teachers Kevin LaMastra, Michael D’Amato, and Marie Henry will help the entire middle school student population adopt a school in the Batey Caraballo, a border community in the Dominican Republic populated by families of Haitian migrant workers. Students will become familiar with the problems faced by their peers through communications with volunteer workers serving in the adopted community and learn about career and educational opportunities that future international humanitarian service might afford them.

Students will develop materials that will be available at various school events to engage other students’ interest in supporting the Batey school by donating basic school supplies. The Haitian Club students will help create a presentation for an assembly where students will be encouraged to donate more classroom supplies. LaMastra will visit the Batey Caraballo to personally deliver backpacks filled with the school supplies, personalized notes, and gifts of New Jersey cultural artifacts. He and the team will create a broadcast-quality video that will be presented to related professional organizations, college teacher education programs, and interested community organizations. At the completion of the project, the students will take a field trip to the United Nations and meet with representatives from UNICEF.

This project is based upon the eight United Nations Millennium Goals to eradicate global poverty, hunger, and related problems.

For further information, contact :

Kevin LaMastra

(732) 203-1098