West Hartford CT Community Notes

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Watkinson sends envoy to help Dominican Republic

HARTFORD>>Watkinson School will send forty travelers to spend a week in La Romana, Dominican Republic from November 23-30, 2013. Watkinson's team will be hosted by the Good Samaritan Hospital, an organization linked to the Massachusetts-based Good Samaritan Mission Council. The travelers will spend their week running medical clinics, distributing food and building hurricane-proof homes for the displaced Haitians who live in sugar cane work camps, also known as bateys.
Watkinson's next open house is December 3rd at 6pm.
The group, led by Watkinson's Communication Director Jenni French (of Wallingford) and Dean of Faculty Sandy García (of Hartford), is comprised of 19 students age 13-18 and 21 alumni, faculty members and parents. This is the fourth annual service-learning trip Watkinson has sent to this region. This year, the trip has travelers from several other organizations joining the team, including Hartford's University High School of Science and Engineering (UHSSE), the University of Connecticut School of Medicine and Miss Porter's School.

Co-leader Jenni French commented, "Watkinson is privileged to be forming partnerships with the University High School of Engineering and the University of Connecticut School of Medicine. A Watkinson alum, Liz Benfield (of Wethersfield) went on this trip in 2012. Liz teaches Spanish at the UHSSE and as soon as we returned from La Romana last year Liz started planning with me how to get a group of her students to join our team. Similarly, an alumni parent, Kiki Nissen (of Farmington), is Associate Dean for graduate medical education at the University of Connecticut School of Medicine and helped us enlist three residents to work with our team on the medical clinics we run. We are excited for these new partnerships to develop in the years to come."

The service trip to the Dominican Republic is part of Watkinson's popular Global Studies program that has curricular, co-curricular, travel, and service learning components. The mission of Watkinson's Global Studies Program is to develop in students the power to be knowledgeable and effective world citizens—acting locally and globally—and to foster respect for diverse people and cultures.



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