Catlin Gabel Middle Schoolers featured in Martinique press
Submitted by Nadine Fiedler on Thu, 03/25/2010 - 11:02am
Sainte Marie Journal, France-Antilles, March 2010
Translation of the article in France-Antilles
Sainte-Marie. Young Americans hosted by Saldès middle schoolers
HAND IN HAND, TO PROTECT THE COAST
Photo 1: Young middle schoolers did not hold back their efforts in spite of the overwhelming heat.
Photo 2: At the end, the Saldès middle schoolers and their American counterparts displayed their satisfaction.
Young middle schoolers from the Emmanuel Saldès Middle School and young American middle schoolers took part in a beach clean-up at Anse Charpentier and at the beach of Sainte-Marie last week. Glass bottles, plastics, used tires, an old fridge … the concerted efforts of these youngsters of very different backgrounds allowed them to pick up several bags of garbage.
The young Americans, from Portland, Oregon, came to Martinique through a cultural and linguistic exchange program. Various families of Sainte-Marie have been hosting them since last week.
Next year, the young Samaritans (inhabitants of Sainte-Marie) will in turn be hosted by their friends from Catlin Gabel School. In preparation for this big trip, the students registered in the European section of Saldès, have been making various fund-raising efforts since last September. They organized a raffle, sold cakes, and have already spent several Saturdays bagging groceries in the town’s supermarket.
Facilitating the turtle’s arrival on the beaches
The clean-up on the commune’s beaches was part of a series of efforts to further sustainability. The ONF (National Forest Bureau), Sainte-Marie’s city hall, and Kawan, a turtle protection association, joined forces with the middle schoolers whose objective was to make it easier for the Leatherback turtles to get on the beach during this egg-laying period.
In small groups, under a scorching sun, the adolescents screened the area to take away as much as possible the garbage soiling these beaches. At the end, they displayed their satisfaction, happy to have filled several garbage-bags full, together.
Josué and Sarah, 8th graders from the Middle School Emmanuel Saldès
"We’re proud to host our American correspondents. Everything’s going well. We’ve been learning English since 5th grade. Today, with the arrival of our American friends, we’re trying to make an extra effort to live this exchange at its best and share as much as possible."
Students from the Catlin Gabel Middle School, 12 to 14 years old
"We’re happy to have been able to join our Martiniquan correspondents. Since we’ve been here, we’ve spent time with a lot of young people. This trip has allowed us to discover your culture, and some music through dance. It’s an unforgettable stay and we’ll remember it for a long time to come. We’ll remember when night time falls with the song of crickets and frogs, and especially the roosters crowing the wake up call in the morning! It’s very different from what we’re used to. We look forward to host our correspondents next year.
Gwenn Le Reste, project coordinator and English teacher at Emmanuel Saldès
"In the last few years, the team of teachers has organized several projects of the sort. Unfortunately, these teachers are extremely challenged by the possibility of having three classes cancelled in our building. Several of our students come from underprivileged families. Our building has the RAR rating (Ambition-Success Network), which has allowed us to have, up until now, a reasonable number of students in our classes. But if, for strictly financial reasons, the rectory persists and cancels these 3 classes, we won’t be able to pursue these sorts of projects that are very motivating for students."
Monique Bessette and Mark Pritchard, French and music teachers at Catlin Gabel School in Portland
"Since the beginning of this project, the Americans were eager to come to Martinique. In spite of the heat, they didn't feel out of place. On the contrary, they took to the exchange right away. Both groups are living pretty intense moments. Our students became familiar with the school's schedule, life in the countryside, and cultural traditions. We're sharing the life of the families who are hosting us, and it's very enriching."