NEWTOWN BOROUGH >> Sara Wolf, educator and international development coordinator, joined by five Haitian colleagues, will speak on “Innovation in Haiti’s Schools” at the Newtown Friends Meeting on Sunday, October 28 at 9:45 a.m. The public is invited.
Wolf grew up in Newtown and is a 1999 graduate of George School and a member of Newtown Quaker Meeting. She has a political science degree from Haverford College and a Masters in urban education from Harvard University
While developing “child friendly spaces” in Haiti after the devastating earthquake of 2010, Sara worked with AMURT, an Indian-based relief organization, to provide innovative education to children in the make-shift camps. Rejecting traditional methods, she used art, music, dance, sports and yoga to enliven children’s school days. Parents would report how much fun their children were having while also learning so much.
The Haitian Ministry of Education took noticed of these innovative approaches and agreed to partner with AMURT and Universite Quisqueiya in Port-au-Prince to create an institute for innovation in education. Sara is now the program director of this institute, known as InnovEd, which is now affiliated with Quisqueiya, Haiti’s flagship university.
For Sunday’s presentation, Sara will be joined by five teachers and trainers who have worked with Sara since 2010. This is the first time they are traveling to the U.S. after several failed attempts to obtain visas. They are Marie Ange Frederick, Mileine Louis, Kettlie Lafaille, Daline Elysee and Steeve Pierre.
The goal of their week-long trip is to observe, learn from and interact with students in New York City and Newtown. Last spring they hosted a group of students and teachers from George School for an afternoon of sharing at the university in Port-au-Prince.
During Sunday’s presentation, the musical maestro Steeve will sing a few songs that he wrote to accompany their training programs and highlight their dynamic approach. The group will also show video clips of their pedagogical strategies.
Working with over 450 schools, InnovEd has conducted 200-hour in-service programs for about 4000 educators, including school directors, teachers and coaches, in both Port-au-Prince and the countryside. These programs stress active learning while celebrating local culture.
Recognized for its success, InnovEd has received over $4 million in grants from the Kellogg Foundation, USAID and the German government.
Wolf, 37, first went to Haiti in 2009 with a team of New York City teachers to conduct professional development programs for educators. For five years before that, she taught global history at the International High School in New York City, a public school serving immigrant children in Queens. After the earthquake in Haiti, she resigned her teaching job to join the recovery effort in Port-au-Prince.
Sara, her environmentalist husband Demeter and four-year-old daughter Kalina live in Port-au-Prince.
Newtown Friends Meeting co-founded by “Peaceable Kingdom” painter and Quaker minister, Edward Hicks, in 1815, is open to all who wish to attend. Regular First Day Education classes (Sunday School) for all ages begin at 9:45 a.m. and Meeting for Worship begins at11 a.m. Childcare is provided.
Raise Your Voice
DOYLESTOWN >> As religious minorities and women mobilize ahead of the midterm elections, the Sisterhood of Salaam Shalom (SOSS) will hold its annual conference of Muslim and Jewish leaders from across the country on Nov. 4 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Delaware Valley University, 700 East Butler Avenue, Doylestown 18901. The conference theme, “Raise Your Voice!,” reflects what leaders in the organization’s more than 160 chapters in 32 states are doing in their communities and at the ballot box. The fifth annual conference will be the culmination of SOSS’s voter registration campaign that has been the primary focus of state chapters this fall. Guest speakers include Joseph Levin Jr., co-founder of the Southern Poverty Law Center; Marianne Williamson, an internationally acclaimed author; Edina Lekovic, co-founder of NewGround: A Muslim-Jewish Partnership for Change, activist and podcast host of Meeting the Moment; Letty Cottin Pogrebin, co-founder, Ms. Magazine; and Sheryl Olitzky, co-founder and executive eirector of the Sisterhood of Salaam Shalom.
Woodside Blood Drive
LOWER MAKEFIELD >> The American Red Cross will hold a blood drive on November 5 from 2 to 7 p.m. at the Woodside Presbyterian Church, 1667 Edgewood Road. Donors of all blood types, especially type O, are needed this fall after hurricanes Michael and Florence forced the cancellation of about 200 blood drives, causing approximately 7,000 units of blood and platelets to go uncollected. To make an appointment to donate blood, download the free American Red Cross Blood Donor App, visit RedCrossBlood.org or call 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767).
Designer Bag Bingo
LOWER MAKEFIELD >> Designer Bag Bingo takes place on Friday, November 9 beginning at 7 p.m. (doors open at 6:30 p.m.) at the Church of the Incarnation, 1505 Makefield Road, Morrisville 19067. Tickets are $30, which includes 10 games of bingo and light refreshments. Bags include Coach, Michael Koors and Kate Spade. For more information or to reserve, call 215-295-2259 or email MichelleStawicki@comcast.net.