Students connect with Haitian kids

Students connect with Haitian kids

Abrams H.O.P.E. students are reading to raise funds for Haiti.
Abrams H.O.P.E. students are reading to raise funds for Haiti.

Students at Abrams Hebrew Academy in Yardley, Pa., are bearing witness to the devastation caused by Haiti’s Jan. 12 earthquake through a series of live videoconferences — part of Students Rebuild, an initiative in partnership with Global Nomads Group, the Bezos Family Foundation, and Architecture for Humanity (

In April, the Abrams students are scheduled to connect with their peers in Haiti via a live two-way broadcast. A team of GNG educators will be on the ground, meeting with Haitian youth and hearing their stories of survival and hope. The Abrams students will learn from their Haitian peers about the realities of the country’s troubles and will discuss ideas on rebuilding Haiti.

Students Rebuild aims to enlist students across the globe to help in rebuilding better, safer schools in Haiti through participation in a $500,000 matching grant challenge. Abrams students have committed to raising money for Students Rebuild, which will match their efforts up to $2,500. Abrams students, led by the middle school club H.O.P.E. (Helping Other People Everywhere) and teacher and H.O.P.E. adviser Chris Konopka, are holding a fund-raising read-athon for students in grades one-eight.

“Our students are truly performing an act of tzedaka,” said school director Rabbi Ira Budow. “They’re working diligently to read as much as possible for the benefit of fellow students so far away. Our entire staff is proud of their initiative to help others in such great need.”

GNG cofounder David Macquart said, “It’s important that students develop a deep connection to the people on the ground. Our live interactive broadcasts will enable participants to glean real insight into Haiti and the people who live there, not just their plight. At the end of the day, making connections with the people they help will make students’ philanthropic efforts that much more gratifying.”

Konopka said taking part in the program “is critical because it allows the students to get to know their counterparts in Haiti whom they are helping through their efforts.”

To donate to Abrams’ read-athon team raising money for the Students Rebuild program, visit

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