Sonoma students seek help for Nicaragua service trip
English teacher Danielle Lovejoy.
Sonoma Valley High School has a history, going back more than a decade, of sending students on service learning trips to Central America with Sonoma-based Seeds of Learning.
From March 18 to 25, over the school’s spring vacation, I will be traveling to Cuidad Dario, Nicaragua, with students from Sonoma High and members of the Sonoma Rotary Club.
Travelling to Nicaragua with me will be Sonoma Valley High School juniors Cierra Perry, Janet Gonzalez, Anna Robles, Luis Fonseca and Bianka Magallan; sophomores Maria Hawing and Aaron Pino; as well as repeat-volunteer, Rotary member Tim Boeve, and likely other Rotary members as well.
Our work group will be volunteering to help build and improve a much-needed school in the rural community of Cuidad Dario. We will spend one week working alongside community members to mix cement, lay bricks and build friendships as we learn from each other. Our actual jobs will depend on the state of school construction when we arrive. It could be digging a foundation, laying brick, painting, or just working with local children within the school. We will also spend time visiting the cultural sites and learning more about Nicaragua’s education, history, economics and politics.
We are hoping that the Sonoma community can help us by collecting school supplies we can take to Nicaragua with us. The supplies most needed, and possible for us to travel with, include coloring books, notebooks, art supplies, calculators, backpacks, pencils, small toys and books.
Anyone who would like to donate can bring these items to the Seeds of Learning office at the Sonoma Community Center, or to Sonoma High classroom H6.
While Seeds of Learning work group trips cost less than most of their peer organizations, our students are also raising money to cover the cost of their trip through direct donations, and through a Dine and Donate at Mary’s Pizza on Tuesday, Feb. 21. You can eat there, take out, buy gift cards that day, or get delivery, and 20 percent of the purchase goes to our group. We will also be having Dine and Donate on Wednesday, March 7, at Black Bear Diner. Patrons who dine anytime between 6 a.m. and 10 p.m. (no flyer needed) will have 10 percent of their purchase go to our trip. Trip donations are 100 percent tax-deductible and can be sent to Seeds of Learning, P.O. Box 2107, Sonoma, CA 95476.
These service-learning trips have been very meaningful for Sonoma High students and we look forward to continuing this long and significant partnership with Seeds of Learning for many years to come. What our students and community get from the experience is as significant as the aid we provide.
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Danielle Lovejoy is an English teacher at Sonoma Valley High School.