Local principal to help build a school in the Dominican

FERRISBURGH — JoAnn Taft Blakely, Ferrisburgh Central School principal, will participate in a Lifetouch Memory Mission to build a school in the Dominican Republic Jan. 18-26. The school will be built for the children and families in a small, mountainous farming community.
Lifetouch Photography, the leading national provider of school and family photography, organizes the trip and invites school administrators, school board members, principals, other educators and PTA members to work alongside Lifetouch volunteers and Dominican nationals to build the school.
This is the fifth Memory Mission to Constanza. Volunteers have built an elementary school, which now serves hundreds of children who otherwise would not have the chance to receive an education. Additionally, volunteers have built a vocational school, providing a place for students to continue their education, offering greater opportunities for careers as adults.
This January, 52 volunteers will begin construction on a new elementary school. During the trip, volunteers will work on a variety of projects, including building structures with concrete blocks. While in the Dominican, volunteers will have an opportunity to visit with community members, interact with teachers and students and participate in a day of photography for the students and families in this village — many of whom have never seen a photo of themselves.
Memory Mission participants will hold two-way conversations with their home schools or offices using Google Hangouts On Air. In addition to hearing about their personal experiences, viewers will be able to see the surroundings and construction site.
Since its inception in 2000, the Lifetouch Memory Mission program has rebuilt a village in war-ravaged Kosovo, repaired homes in Appalachia, established a children’s center in Jamaica and constructed a footbridge for students to use while walking to school in the land of the Navajo in Arizona. Additionally, volunteers have built 13 schools across Haiti and the Dominican Republic. Memory Mission volunteers have also provided on-site assistance to victims of natural disasters throughout the United States, including Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans, floods in the Dakotas, fires in California, and tornadoes across the Midwest.
Learn more about the Lifetouch Memory Mission at lifetouchmemorymission.com.

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