Day 3 in Port-au-Prince: Building and Dreaming Together

LitWorld's Executive Director, Pam Allyn, and Creative Director, Dorothy Lee, are visiting LitWorld's Innovation Hub in Port-au-Prince, Haiti. Dorothy is keeping the LitWorld community updated and connected to the work happening in Haiti with daily reports from the field.

"Another big day here in Haiti. We visited the Children of Haiti Project school, run by the incredible Dominique. We toured around, met the darling, smart children in the morning program there, and saw their beautiful classrooms and cozy library. We then all met together to talk over everyone's hopes and dreams for the work we can collaborate on to build a better future for Haiti's youth. We talked about the importance of always thinking about the overarching goals, the big, yet specific, goals for 2-3 years from now, and the concrete next steps to take in the next 1-3 months.

Dominique invited us to join the children for their delicious nutritious lunch of rice and beans with stewed okra and onions, on the rooftop of the school, which serves as classroom and play space as well as the cafeteria. It is shady and breezy with a beautiful view, and the children just love to run around up there. They are just so excited to be in school, in such a beautiful, clean, kind place.

After lunch we did a quick read aloud with the One Moore Book donation. Everyone is so excited when they see that we brought books in Hatian Creole. We let the kids go for the day, and then did community building with some of the COHP teachers, another fun round of the name game and Crapo (Bullfrog, in case you've forgotten your Creole vocab from yesterday!) and a training about reading aloud and the importance of building in reading time regularly in every school day.

We paused the training and visited the tent community across the way. We were able to meet Givelove and her mother, who the team met last time as well, and see their impossible home of gravel and tarps, decorated with a calendar hanging on the wall. We also met a little boy, the older brother of one of Dominique's students, who is in the TOYA Saturday LitClub. His family's home is built with some sturdier materials than just tarps, but just barely more, and crowded in with 12,000 other families, their lives, food, waste, stories, all pushed together so closely it's astounding that they can breathe and live, and there they are, loving and dreaming.

We came back to the school and Pam ran a training about strategies for running independent reading time with students, which seemed very helpful to the group. Upstairs, the afternoon students were having classes, and we joined them for a LitClub session of singing and reading aloud together.

It was a very full day. Many conversations to process further, ideas to pull apart and build up as we work together and move into our next phase of work in this place that is so ready for LitWorld to do it up big."

--Dorothy Lee