Students and faculty participating in one of Meredith’s study abroad programs this summer spent three weeks giving, serving and learning in Belize.
Associate Professor of English Kelly Morris Roberts, ’91, and Professor Emerita of History Carolyn Happer led eight students for the three-week program. Students earned four credit hours, three in a Young Adult Literature course and a one credit course in community service and cultural understanding.
In addition to completing their own coursework, Meredith students tutored students at The Faith Nazarene School, in San Ignacio, Belize, using the MeredithReads curriculum.
Meredith’s Colton English Club raised funds for a playground project at the school. The following additions were made to the playground:
• Installed a wooden two-swing swing set with a slide;
• Built and installed a four-swing swing set;
• Finished the cement wall with chain link;
• Finished the tying wire around the chain link fencing to secure the playground for the children;
• Refurbished and restored/painted two metal swing sets and six swings at the school;
• Repainted the rebar handles of the see-saws, bolstering one see-saw for extra strength; and
• Installed a gate for the playground.
“This list represents about a year and a half of fundraising,” said Roberts. “We are hopeful next year will find us in a position to put finishing touches on the playground.”
Meredith College also provided ten books for use at the school, and Roberts donated 20 more books for individual children.
While the playground improvements and books are lasting gifts to the students in Belize, participating in the program also made a lasting impression on Meredith students.
Sarah Horton, ’14, wrote in her travel blog that the country would forever have a piece of her heart.
“I had no idea what to expect walking into Faith Nazarene School for the first time, but within minutes the school and its students had stolen my heart,” wrote Horton. "I have so many good memories, drawings, and friendship bracelets that thanks to these students I was allowed to bring home with me. I didn't realize how attached I would become to the students and the school, but saying goodbye to them after spending the past three weeks with them was not easy."
The students in the Belize program were among the 70 Meredith students who studied abroad this summer.