Having raised four children – five when I include my nephew who we were blessed to have in our household for five years – I have much experience with education… education in the home, education in school, and education outside of the home and school. One concept that was firmly set in my mind by 1987 when our nephew left the household was the ‘education triangle.’
The Education Triangle
In 1987, Sean was 17; Nick, 12; Stef, 8; Brad, 4; and Jesse, 3-years old. Each of our children experienced education in his own way with varying levels of achievement and results. While each child’s experience was unique, the education triangle remains constant: three individuals are critical to the learning process:
the parent(s)/guardian(s) and
- If all three are actively and intimately involved in the learning process, the chance of the student’s success in the classroom and acquiring knowledge is high.
- If two of the three are actively involved, the chance is significantly less… better if the student is one of the two involved, but far less if the student is not involved and motivated.
- If only one of the three is actively involved, the chance of learning and acquiring knowledge is greatly reduced, even if the student is the one who is actively involved and motivated to learn.
That is what I learned as a father, and it will remain true forever. One needs to understand and acknowledge that truism as I direct attention to my quest to raise funds to send children to school in Haiti.
The Learning Environment
Here’s a picture of my elementary school – Pomeroy School, Pittsfield, Massachusetts – long since converted to an apartment building. Below it, Fairmount Elementary School in St. Peters, Missouri where my kids went to school in the 1980’s.
Here are pictures of Foi de Job.
Two plus two equals four (2+2=4) in Haiti just as it does in St. Peters or Pittsfield, but the school environment at Pomeroy and Fairmount – like your local schools – is far more conducive to learning than the school environment at Foi de Job. Still, the teachers teach, and the children learn as best they can.
Go back to the education triangle. Mrs. tVM and I spent countless hours at the kitchen table helping our children with their school work and encouraging them to complete it. I say with 100% certainty that not a single child we support at Foi de Job HAS a kitchen table because few if any live in a ‘home’ that has more than a single room, which is not much larger than the office I work from in my 10-room house. Let’s go another step. Few of these children live with two parents, some live on the streets. Few of the parents attended more than six years of school and most cannot read or write. Mathematics is as alien to the parents as hieroglyphics is to you and me.
When I ask GBCCS coach and manager Justin Ricot how many of the parents completed at least six years of formal education, he responds, “Ninety-eight percent of the parents never went to school.” Though you may question the absolute accuracy of his answer, you get the point.
Against the Odds
The odds are stacked against these kids even before they walk into the school IF they have the opportunity to attend school, which is our intention here. These children need our help. Education WILL lead people out of poverty. My friends in Haiti have a very steep hill to climb.
Can you help? Will you help? We were able to fund 20 children this school year. We would like to send more kids to school in 2018/19. We need your help. Please donate what you can to our education fund for the kids at Guepard Boxing Club. You can use the donate button at Gail Rongen’s Nicole Megaloudis Foundation. Add a note that it is for the Haiti Project with GBCCS, and Gail will direct the money to our work.