I just returned from our annual Rotary service project in Antigua and Barbuda. It was our most ambitious, busiest and most successful project to date. As always, we traveled with Jeff Mason, Cisco Networking teacher at Newport High School, 15 high school students and others.
We successfully installed a video conferencing system between the State College on Antigua and the secondary school on Barbuda. They will use it for teacher training because it’s a three hour ferry ride each way and thus the Barbuda teachers don’t get full training. They will also be teaching to Barbuda, starting with a math teacher whom will do Saturday classes using this system.
We installed eight new computer labs and made upgrades to older labs. The good news is that these labs are being used and well maintained. One day we had to interrupt a class to do the upgrades. Jeff was impressed with the teaching on the computers.
The big hit was the sewing classes my wife Jan and two others taught. The room is overflowing, there was a lot of excitement and they were on TV and in the paper. I compare this to micro-lending with it being skills-teaching instead of small loans.
We also distributed most of our 1,500 illustrated dictionaries (one to each third grade student) and monitored the First Move chess program from America’s Foundation for Chess (www.af4c.org).
Finally, Jeff, all the students and I were on Good Morning Antigua on February 20, 2012. The kids did a great job. They were all in their bright purple team shirts and made a striking impression.