Published: Jan 31, 2011 8:51 PM EST
Updated: Jan 31, 2011 5:51 PM EST

COLLIER COUNTY, Fla - For the past three years, Lorenzo Walker Technical High School (LWTHS) has supported Free the Children – a registered charity in the United States and Canada.  LWTHS students have worked hard through multiple fundraising activities such as numerous car washes, weekly bagel sales, and taking part in various community events to reach a goal of $8500 to sponsor the building of a new school in Haiti.

The idea to build a new school in Haiti came about when LWTHS and East Naples Middle School brought in a guest speaker who just returned from a trip that provided clean water to a developing community in Kenya.  The speaker shared her experiences, as well as information about the Free the Children organization.  LWTHS students approached staff members to let them know that they wanted to work with Free the Children’s “Adopt A Village” program, one which provides a school in an underdeveloped community.

After three years, the funds have been raised and are available for the construction of an elementary school.  An elementary education has been shown to be one of the most important single factors in lifting impoverished people out of poverty.  The school will be either a single or double-room school house in a rural area of the community, or part of a greater block of school buildings in a central location.  Specifically, two areas, are targeted for the school’s location, Dos Palais and Terre Casse.  Within the school’s walls, students will be provided with the supplies necessary to attend such as textbooks, pencils, and more.  This may include uniforms as well, if families can’t afford them.  LWTHS senior Beatriz Martinez summed up her feelings about what this all means to her, “It made me feel good to know that we are making a difference in the world.  We are giving them (the children) the experience of having the chance for an education.”

Free the Children is the world’s largest network of children helping children through education, with more than one million youth involved in its innovative education and development programs in 45 countries.  The organization has built more than 500 schools around the world. 

To learn more about the LWTHS project, please call 377-0900, and to learn more about Free the Children, please visit: www.freethechildren.com.