RFH HaitiStudents from Christine Berg’s French II Class with the “big books” they created in French after learning about a shortage of reading resources in Haiti.

Press release from Rumson-Fair Haven Regional High School

Youngsters at the La Creche Orphanage in Haiti recently received a meaningful gift from students studying French at Rumson-Fair Haven Regional High School.

The RFH students created colorfully illustrated “big books” that were transported to the orphanage by a grateful Pierre LeRoy, co-founder of the Haitian People’s Support Project. A nationwide shortage of resources is creating a stumbling block for the organization’s goal of increasing literacy rates among Haitian children.

Upon hearing about the shortage of reading materials, the students in Christine Berg’s French II classes and Lauren Thieme’s French IV class took matters into their own hands. They created original story books written in the Haitian children’s native language of French.

As an example, Berg noted that in one of the books the character of Dan Le Docteur (Dan the Doctor) travels to work every day in a ‘tap tap’ —  a brightly decorated Haitian bus used for public transportation.

Another one of the books is titled Leila la Fleur Hibiscus (Leila the Hibiscus Flower), in a nod to both a popular Haitian girl’s name and a native flower of Haiti.

Additional titles include Le Ti Chiyen, which means “The Little Dog” in the language of Creole, and Ou Sont les Bananes?” or “Where Are the Bananas?”.

The French II students who created books include Patrick Ahimovic, Samantha Beaudreault, Eve Bisaccia, Thomas Chapin, Margaret Condon, Gabriel Farina Jr., Holly Faulkner, Jeffrey Friedman, Taylor Glassman, Emma Guido, Edward Ham, Jack Higgins, Jack Kreutzberg, Samantha Lane, Robert McGinty III, Careena Menzel, Kevin Milkowski, Charlotte Miller, Emily Oberlander, John (Jack) Oberle, James Oncea, Avery Pagano, Kaitlyn Peitler, Nicole Russo, Paige Russo, Liam Swanzey, and Kelsey Swikart.

The French IV students include Jameson Borden, Christopher Caroli, John Chiarella, Kalilah Fajerman, Kenneth Ferrare, Caroline Hoye, Caroline Martino, Hannah Nicolas, Maxwell Nitto, Justine O’Sullivan, Sophia Rosa, Tonino Solimime Jr., and Daniel Susser.