Sunday, November 23, 2014

Haiti Interact

Monday afternoon we will be having our Haiti Carnival. This is an annual project we always do on the Monday right before Thanksgiving. The carnival starts shortly after lunch and will go right up to the end of the day. There will be activities that should entertain everyone. We will be hosting a dodgeball tournament in the auto body lab, a wii dance off, refreshments and snacks, and several other events. The event that I am really excited about is the Oculus Rift, sponsored by the Network Systems group. If you are not familiar with the Oculus Rift, it is a virtual reality headset for 3D gaming. I have messed around with this in their lab and it is something you have to try. Make sure you are sitting down for some of the games. If they hook up the roller coaster for you, I guarantee you will feel like you are at Cedar Point. Just don't get motion sickness. LOL. Seriously, this is one exciting gaming system.

So what is all this for and why do we have the Haiti carnival? Tomorrow is generally a fund raiser for our Haiti Interact club. All the events tomorrow will charge a small fee to participate, so be sure to bring some extra money to spend. All the money will go towards our Haiti Interact project. So the next question I'm sure is; "What is the Haiti Interact Project"? Eight years ago, after hearing Marius Turienne, Superintendent of the Bordes School in Haiti, speak to the Vantage social studies students about Haitian culture, the Vantage student body voted to "adopt" the Bordes School and work hand-in-hand with them to provide vocational services to its students. They would organize this endeavor through a student formed Haiti Committee. This original committee began with two advisors and twelve students. During the second year of its existence, the Haiti Committee partnered with the Van Wert Rotary Club and associated itself as a Rotary Interact Club. While the primary purpose of the Interact club was to strengthen the partnership between Vantage and the Bordes School, they also agreed to tackle service project that would benefit local constituents. To date, the Vantage Interact Club has 125 members and is the largest high school Interact Club in the state of Ohio.

One major accomplishment of the Interact Club was establishing and maintaining a carpentry program at the Bordes School. By creating a carpentry program at the Bordes School, Vantage has taken an integral role in helping teach Haitians skills that will benefit them for their entire lifetime. Over the last six years, Vantage students have raised nearly $30,000 for the Bordes carpentry program, while also making annual trips to Haiti. Peg Bollenbacher, retired American Studies teacher at Vantage, said "Adopting the school at Bordes was a student-led initiative. Our Vantage students wanted to reach out and work with Bordes students to provide opportunities that they otherwise would not have." The group continues to meet and hold fundraisers for the Bordes School. In April, 2014, Mr. Matt Miller, Ms. Bollenbacher and 1 student traveled to Haiti for a week.

Have a great Thanksgiving and rest while you can (per Mr. Darrell Miller)!

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