April 5, 2013

Citizens of the Week: Dalton IB students

From Staff Reports

— Students today may take for granted that their schools will all have windows, but children at La Pintada Elementary School in Nicaragua weren’t so lucky. They had to store their classroom desks at home every night or face the possibility they would be stolen. A group of Dalton High School International Baccalaureate (IB) candidates recently helped solve that problem.

IB students enroll in advanced classes that can double as college credit under certain conditions, and as part of their studies they undertake a service project to help others. IB students this time chose to look beyond their own community when considering where they could do good.

The students hosted an International Fair in November to raise money and awareness for the Nicaraguan school, according to information on the school system’s news blog, dpsschools.wordpress.com. Dalton High teacher Regina Ragon is founder and president of Latin American Community Development, which was the organization that partnered with Clemson University’s Engineers Without Borders to build the Nicaraguan classroom.

Ragon told IB students that while those organizations built the classroom, it still needed windowpanes and iron bars installed to keep out animals, dust and would-be thieves. IB students raised about $300 from the international fair, and Ragon was able to visit the finished product during winter break in February.

“The teacher and the principal are thrilled with the school and are so thankful to the IB students for all their hard work in planning and executing the fair,” Ragon said in the blog article.

For their work in making education a little more accessible for this group of Nicaraguan children, The Daily Citizen names Dalton High School’s IB students Citizens of the Week.