by Peggy Freeman
Over 500,000 children live in poverty in Haiti today. Some are living with parents or relatives but many live in unprotected camps were they scavenge for food just to exist. Even if they are able to find sustenance for the day, many children will remain in poverty due to a lack of education. That is why Loretta Graham-Gay volunteers to teach underprivileged children in Los Angeles, Haiti and Jamaica to read, write and to speak English.
“Education is not free in underprivileged countries; you have to pay to go to school,” she says.
Loretta knows about the price of an education because she wasborn and raised in Trelawney, Jamaica until the age of fourteen. Because of high test scores, she was able to go to Junior High/ High States afforded her a College education. After college Loretta became a school teacher but never forgot the faces of the children in her homeland.
After thirty-two years, Loretta retired from the Lennox School District in Los Angeles and started Creative Teachers, a nonprofit educational program which works with disadvantaged students in the United States and Third- World-Countries. Academically at-risk students may receive free or low-cost tutoring based upon the parent or care provider’s income. Loretta has performed volunteer work in Zambia and Dominican Republic, and she currently volunteers in Haiti and Jamaica.
“The first year I volunteered in Haiti, the director of the program saw a need for someone to teach English to French and Creole speaking children and she asked me to come back.” Loretta said.
Passionate about the mission, Loretta returned to Grace Community School in Carries, Haiti to teach English as a second language (ESL), reading and writing. Grace Community School was founded in October 2011 by Ms. Lynn Joseph. Loretta helped to open the school and the first year eighty six students enrolled! Students are clothed in uniforms and shoes, and provided with school supplies and tuition from generous donors. Children are also given breakfast and lunch so that they may be able to concentrate on their studies and not their tummies.
Sponsors make a tremendous difference in the lives of the children! They bring hope and a sense of pride and self-worth to underprivileged kids. Loretta is thankful for the work that is being done, but more children need help. The cost of school supplies and uniforms is meager compared to what is spent on dinner for two in the United States.
Please donate or partner with Loretta at Creative Teachers to provide the basics and a better life for children.
You may donate on her website through Pay Pal at: www.creativeteachers.info.