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Cornerstone Learning Community Partners With FAMU on Haiti Relief Efforts

Joseph Jones, FAMU's interim assistant vice president of the Office of International Education and Development, (right) thanks members of the Cornerstone Learning Community for their donations to FAMU’s Haiti Relief Efforts.

February 18, 2010

– The Cornerstone Learning Community (CLC) partnered with Florida A&M University (FAMU) by donating food and supplies for Haitian earthquake victims, as a part of FAMU disaster relief contribution to a country many students refer to as home.

The private school reached out to FAMU for assistance with getting their collected donations to the natural disaster victims.

An idea that originated in a fourth-grade classroom discussion somehow spread throughout the school and formed a massive donation for earthquake victims. The school collected water, canned food, dried and canned fruit and rice, along with diabetic supplies and syringes.

“It’s something that we all felt was very important to switch gears for and to focus on in our classroom,” said Annmarie Small, a fourth-grade teacher at CLC. “They have worked extremely hard over the last two weeks since it happened to figure ways they could be most helpful, and to figure out ways they could really be involved in producing something that would be meaningful and helpful to everyone affected by the disaster.”

FAMU’s interim assistant vice president of the Office of International Education and Development, Joseph Jones, spoke to students, parents, faculty and staff of CLC ensuring them that the University will continue its relief after the cameras is gone and the media is no longer interested.        

“The impact is beyond what I think we can comprehend here in the United States,” said Jones. “But to see the outpour of love, not just from the U.S., but from around the world really speaks to a new era in our lifetime where the world is becoming really, truly engaged.”
Students of CLC prepared a Haitian lunch to aggrandize their donation. The fourth graders made plantains, fifth graders prepared a salad, and the eighth graders cooked red beans and rice. CLC also held a bake sale and plans to donate the proceeds to the American Red Cross.
During the luncheon, students of CLC circulated cards that listed several Web sites that individuals can go to online to donate.
“I felt like these people work so hard and get so little, and disaster strikes,” said Riley Bohnstengel, an 11 year-old and fourth-grade student at CLC. “We have to do something to help.”   

In addition to the luncheon and the donations collected, the students at CLC put together a video discussing their views on the disaster, which is posted on the class blog.
According to Jones, FAMU plans to send some individuals, with the permission of the Haitian government, to Haiti with the collected supplies during spring break.

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