The TLC School as a Christian Ministry
TLC is a Christian school. The children salute the Haitian flag, sing the Haitian national anthem and have prayer to begin each school day. The children have Bible classes by age level. The students have a memory verse in all subjects and it is included through out the curriculum. The children are presented with the plan of salvation. Most of the songs used in the school are Christian songs and hymns. The children are disciplined based on Christian principles. [i.e. Do you think God would approve of what you did?, etc.] The children say or sing grace before meals. Many of the students attend Haitian churches and some have been baptized. The school usually has family activities and invites families to attend a program at Christmas
Each year groups from the US come to do Bible schools [like VBS but during school time]. Others come to help on work projects, building, tiling, plumbing, the library, teacher seminars, etc.
There are some US run institutions in Haiti that try to get Haitian children adopted into US families. While this may be a good thing for some children such as orphans, TLC has adopted a different philosophy. TLC aims to educate students so they can stay in Haiti and become upstanding contributing citizens of the country and to the Christian community.
Many if not most of the poor Haitian families have several children. It is our policy to accept no more than two children from one family. The idea was to spread the limited resources and schooling over a broader base. When one or two of the children in a family receive education, they usually teach other family members including the parents.
TLC serves about 90 to 100 children. TLC follows general US standards and has about 175 to 180 days of school per year. As noted previously, the children are taught in English and French. This allows the use of English language texts and most of the curriculum is based on US materials.
Parents come to school every grading period for teacher conferences. Teachers discuss each child’s education, progress and report card. Parents are required to sign the report card. [FYI: Most parents of TLC students have either no schooling or maybe up to about 3rd grade level. [Many have trouble signing the card]. The children teach their parents how to sign their name and usually teach other family members some of the things they have learned. Dottie started an English and French class for the parents of TLC students who desired to learn to read, write and speak English and/or French.
The TLC teachers do not have the credentials that one would expect of American teachers such as a BA, MA, etc. Personnel with these qualifications are simply not available. At this time, all the teachers are Haitians and all speak fairly good English [excellent English by Haitian standards]. All of the teachers have completed or are completing high school. Some teachers have taken or are taking college night courses in PAP. All of the teachers live in the neighborhood and all walk to school.
It might help you to realize that most if not all of the TLC children do not have electricity, running water or much furniture in their dirt floor hovel homes. It is amazing to see the bright shining faces of the children as they come to school each morning – clean, well dressed and very eager to learn.