Caring for children worldwide

Published on Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Sussex County Retired Educators 
(Left to right) Catherine DeLaura, Executive Director DREAM Project, Lucille Gigantelli, SCREA retired from Hopatcong, Linda Bruno, SCREA President and retired from Hamburg, and Lucille Stanziale, Sussex County Education Association Office Manager and SCREA retired from Hopatcong at the Carabello Education Center in Batey Carabello, Puerto Plata, Dominican Republic.

A group of retired Sussex County educators recently traveled to Puerto Plata, Dominican Republic to transport monetary donations, school supplies and sports equipment to the DREAM Project.  Donations were collected from members of the Sussex County Education Association, active and retired, as well as students in Julie Wilson’s class at Hopatcong High School.

The Dominican Republic Education and Mentoring (DREAM) Project is a 501(c)3, nonprofit organization, that provides quality education for all children born into  poverty in rural areas and small communities of the Dominican Republic.  “We first visited this particular school in Nov. 2011 and were excited to go back there again to witness first-hand the difference our contributions have made,” noted Sussex REA President Linda Bruno.  “The buildings have been improved and books we transported in past years were being utilized.”

The public schools in the Dominican rank last in Latin American.  These schools are under-resourced, overcrowded and lack the materials and qualified teaching staff to provide a quality education. More than half of the primary school students repeat a grade and nearly half do not go on to secondary school. The DREAM Project has quality pre-school classes, supplements the public school for students in grades 1-8 and provides teacher training and professional development for public school teachers.

Sussex County Retired Educators 
Students attend class at the Carabello Education Center.

This is the 7th year retired educators from Sussex County have traveled to the Dominican Republic to support this effort. They were able to visit schools and view first-hand, the impact the donations brought there from Sussex County educators over the past six years have made in the DREAM project classes.

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