The Carlisle Mosquito Online

Friday, December 12, 2003


CCHS English language learners lead literary efforts in Cambodia

CCHS and the Concord-Carlisle community are connecting in a big way to a small village in Cambodia, thanks largely to the efforts of one very energetic woman.

Current Concord, and former Carlisle, resident and pediatrician Dr. Nancy Hendrie established The Sharing Foundation (TSF) in 1998 to help provide for the educational and health needs of children in Roteang Village, not far from Phnom Phen, Cambodia's capital. Among its successes, TSF has developed a state-of-the-art orphanage and health center, and cares for more than 60 orphaned and abandoned children. According to Doctor Hendrie, many of these youngsters have significant disabilities or are suffering from HIV/AIDS.

One of TSF's most recent projects is the English language program at Roteang Village School. The foundation has paid for English instruction for hundreds of schoolchildren. According to Hendrie, learning English greatly increases the likelihood that these children will be able to support themselves in decent jobs after graduating from high school. "Most good jobs in Cambodia require English-language skills," she says.

Learning English means reading, and therein lies the problem TSF and the village school faced: no books. Libraries are nonexistent, having been destroyed, along with most other cultural and educational resources, by the Khmer Rouge. Neil Lynch, CCHS's English-language learning (ELL) teacher, found out about the latest book drive from Kelli Kirshtein, the high school's Intervention/Prevention counselor, who adopted her son from Roteang Orphanage in 2001. Lynch approached his students about helping to stock the library with donated new books. In turn, Hendrie accepted an invitation to come to CCHS and talk to students about TSF.

As a result, ELL students will be soliciting donations for books that have been pre-selected for their cultural appropriateness. Potential donors may choose to give a gift of either $10, $15 or $25. Checks should be made payable to the CCHS International Club. For more information on how you can help, call 1-978-318-1417, and speak to either Neil Lynch (x361) or Kelli Kirshtein (x 123).

Reprinted from the CCHS Newsletter.

2003 The Carlisle Mosquito