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Haiti: What can you and your classes do right now to help

Haiti: What can you and your classes do right now to help

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As I'm sure you'll all aware, yesterday (1/12/10), a massive earthquake struck Haiti, devastating its capital. Hundreds of thousands are feared dead and The Red Cross reports that over 3 million people have been affected. So..I'm wondering if any of you and your classes are planning to do anything to help. Here are some resources I've quickly compiled: :: New York Times created a Twitter list, where you can follow the latest updates in real-time. :: You can also follow a live stream of tweets about Haiti by searching "help haiti" on Twitter. :: This seems to be the most popular way people are donating: Text "HAITI" to 90999 to donate $10 to the Red Cross (It automatically gets added to your phone bill) :: Here's Six ways you can help in Haiti. :: Lastly, here's another article that lists the many ways you can help Haiti earthquake victims. Please share what you plan on doing. Fundraisers, having your class follow the Twitter feeds, whatever you're doing -- please share!

This post was created by a member of Edutopia's community. If you have your own #eduawesome tips, strategies, and ideas for improving education, share them with us.

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Elana Leoni's picture
Elana Leoni
Edcamper, Former @Edutopia, Founder of Social Media Marketing Consultancy aimed at helping educational orgs.

An educator just invited me to a Facebook event on Haiti that I thought was interesting. They created an event: In-school Haiti Awareness Campaign, where they have this as their description:

We will create posters about the Haiti earthquake and about Haiti to promote a schoolwide understanding of this small country and the devastation caused by this recent earthquake. Knowledge is power.

Is anyone else using Facebook to help Haiti? I quickly did a Facebook search with the words "school" and "haiti" and came up with some more schools using Facebook to help Haiti.

Emilie "Mikki" Uyehara's picture
Emilie "Mikki" Uyehara
Multi-Cultural Curriculum Developer Hawaii K-12

A Weekend in Haiti Carnival, with food booths, arts and crafts, music and storytelling is a great way of getting students involved. A collaboration of the schools with local businesses in such an endeavor works well in encouraging social responsibility.

Elana Leoni's picture
Elana Leoni
Edcamper, Former @Edutopia, Founder of Social Media Marketing Consultancy aimed at helping educational orgs.

I just received this exciting email and thought it was an incredible idea and tool:

Over the last week, a number of technology organizations (from Google
to Ushahidi to Frontline SMS Medic) partnered up with the State
Department in a coordinated effort that uses technology to support the
relief efforts in Haiti.

The Extras'( has engineered a system where anyone in the world can use two minutes of spare time to help desperate families get information about their missing loved ones. Volunteers match a photo of a missing person, to faces in news images coming out of Haiti.

Here's the page:

This is one of the first cases where you can *actually* help disaster
relief efforts from your personal computer. Employ your social network
to get micro-work done. In this case, for disaster relief efforts.

The results have been tremendous. Over 2,000 volunteers have taken
action in the last few days alone. To-date, their efforts have
resulted in 53,573 image tags and 350 potential matches of missing
people (with seven good enough to contact the families). We've also
had over 700 searches queried by families looking for missing loved

Again, here's the page:

Together, we're using the power of the crowd to help locate and
identify missing persons with just a few minutes of your time. Let's
help some desperate families get information about their missing loved

Thanks a lot! Exciting time!

Elana Leoni's picture
Elana Leoni
Edcamper, Former @Edutopia, Founder of Social Media Marketing Consultancy aimed at helping educational orgs.

Just came across this fund raising event on Facebook.

What is everyone else doing to raise money for Haiti?

Julie's picture

Here are a few sites for resources:

What a teacher can find at this site are free lessons along with teacher guides connected to Haiti . These lessons are ready to go right now and could be used in classrooms today.

Teaching for Change has posted a free downloadable version of Teaching About Haiti and a list of recommended resources for K-12 at this link:

Haiti and the Dominican Republic: One Island, Two Worlds How did the Dominican Republic's and Haiti's environmental pasts determine their economic futures?

Kids Around the World - Contains interviews with Haitian children and a resource page on Haiti

TeachUNICEF - Provides background information about Haiti and lesson plans on humanitarian emergencies - Links to and describes websites that provide a variety of information and lesson plans on Haitian culture, history, etc.

PBS NewsHour - Provides news stories, photos, video clips, and educational resources on the earthquake in Haiti

Freely Educate: Links to lesson plans on the earthquake in Haiti, political background information on Haiti, and earthquakes in general

Heather Weisse Walsh's picture
Heather Weisse Walsh
Manager of Educational Services at MAGPI

On Friday, February 19th from 10:00 AM - 1:00 PM EST, MAGPI is
sponsoring an international videoconference and webcast to help raise
awareness and financial support for victims of the Haiti earthquake.
We're working to line up some phenomenal speakers, representatives from
aid agencies, and student presentations/performances as part of this
international event. We want you and your students to get involved!


BE A PRESENTER:Is your K12 school, university or college planning a project to raise awareness or funds to help earthquake victims? We would love to give your students 5-10 minutes to share their project. Has a student created an artistic work (song, painting, mural, etc) to help raise awareness? We'd love to have him/her perform! If you are interested in performing or presenting, please send a 100 word abstract detailing your proposed presentation/performance to Heather Weisse Walsh at Deadline for proposals is January 30, 2010. Presenters can perform/present live via videoconference or submit videos prior to the event. Please indicate your preference on your presentation/performance proposal. Interactive videoconference sites must have H.323 videoconference gear and, preferably, are connected to their national research and education network.

SHOW THE WEBSTREAM IN YOUR SCHOOL: If you're not a presenting/performing school, don't worry! Participate by tuning in LIVE to the webstream. We'll be posting webstream instructions at the beginning of February on the MAGPI website: During the webcast, collect change and donations at your school and donate to one of the aid organizations participating in the program. Or simply just tune in and be inspired by what others are doing - - and then create your own project.

LIVE BLOGGERS/TWEETERS: We're looking for schools to volunteer as live bloggers and tweeters for this event, covering the presentations and helping get word out to the world at large. Interested? Contact Heather Weisse Walsh at

GET YOUR ORGANIZATION INVOLVED: We want your organization to get involved too - - the World Food Programme, Penn Center for High Impact Philanthropy, and The Exploratorim have already expressed interest in participating! If your organization is interested in speaking/presenting/participating, please email Heather at


Grace Rubenstein's picture
Grace Rubenstein
Former senior producer at Edutopia

Just got this notice in my inbox about a free lesson plan on responding to the disaster:

"Volunteer USA is also providing a free lesson plan to help teachers use the Haitian earthquake and other real-life disasters as examples of how Americans assist with humanitarian and recovery efforts, as well as provide a platform to discuss the need for all families to develop and practice personal disaster plans. Visit for access to the educational material."

Elana Leoni's picture
Elana Leoni
Edcamper, Former @Edutopia, Founder of Social Media Marketing Consultancy aimed at helping educational orgs.

Just came across this article by Here's an excerpt:

Teal Bucci also suggests that parents help children look at similarities and differences between their lives and the lives of children in Haiti. What does education look like here? What does education look like in Haiti? For example, Teal Bucci explains, most families in Haiti cannot afford to send all of their children to school--they have to choose which of their children will get an education. Children in Haiti sit on benches in school. They have one pencil that they sharpen with a razor blade, and often walk as far as three miles to get to school each day. (For more details, visit Teal Bucci's Haiti Empowerment Project.)

UNICEF offers a number of terrific resources if you're looking to have conversations such as these with your children. UNICEF's World Heroes game allows children to understand the value of volunteering. Parents can play the game with their children and use it as a springboard for discussion. How can we become world heroes? Why should we?

Elana Leoni's picture
Elana Leoni
Edcamper, Former @Edutopia, Founder of Social Media Marketing Consultancy aimed at helping educational orgs.

Came across this article on on how teenagers are using video conference to connect and relate to students their own age in Haiti. Pretty interesting and a great way to use technology!

Elana Leoni's picture
Elana Leoni
Edcamper, Former @Edutopia, Founder of Social Media Marketing Consultancy aimed at helping educational orgs.

Six months have passed since a 7.3-magnitude earthquake struck Haiti.

The American Red Cross issued a progress report on its efforts to help Haiti. You can view it here.

During a news briefing in Washington, Red Cross officials said new or expanded efforts include:

* A $3.8 million agreement to pay the salaries of more than 1,800 Haitian doctors, nurses and medical staff at the largest general hospital in Port-au-Prince, the capital, who have been working without pay since the Jan. 12 quake.

* Funds for prosthetics and rehabilitation totaling $1.4 million.

* Funds totaling $8.6 million to build semi-permanent shelters for people living in tarps and tents in and around Port-au-Prince.

The agency has raised about $468 million for the Haiti relief effort and spent about a third of that, it reported.

When your classes start up again, do you plan on getting your students involved to help Haiti?

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