Chautauqua staff, students are going global with projects and programs
Sometimes, it’s the littlest drops that make the biggest splash.
And you might be surprised to learn that right now on Vashon, it’s not a resistance movement, an arts event or even drag-queen bingo making ripples that are traveling far — it’s the students and staff at Chautauqua Elementary School.
Between four different student-, staff- and school-led activities and programs, Chautauqua is going global this fall with connections to four different countries and one U.S. territory: Uganda, Mexico, Puerto Rico, Spain and Colombia.
“It’s so great to see the school reaching out and gaining this understanding of other places and cultures … the world outside of Vashon,” Chautauqua Principal Rebecca Goertzel said.
School-led programs have so far connected Chautauqua students to Uganda, Spain and Colombia through two outside organizations: Sister Schools and The Amity Institute.
Sister Schools is an organization that connects students from “donor schools” here in Washington with children in need in Uganda, East Africa. An initial presentation is given to the donor school, showing the students what life is like for children in the schools and orphanages in that part of the world. The donor school then collects donations of school supplies, some sports items and even gently-used clothing and toiletries, and Sister Schools delivers the supplies directly to the Ugandan kids who need them.
“They (Sister Schools) began by showing that there are kids out in the world who need our help. They don’t have what we have and that can really be an eye-opener for our young students,” Goerzel said.