RFH TEACHER GETS NEA GRANT FOR CUBA TRIP

gaussRumson-Fair Haven Regional Spanish teacher Christina Gauss (center) will be traveling to Cuba this January, as part of an education project funded by a grant from the NEA.

Press release from Rumson-Fair Haven Regional High School

Christina Gauss, a faculty member at Rumson-Fair Haven Regional High School, is the recipient a Learning and Leadership Grant from the National Education Association, that will allow her to travel to Cuba in January 2016.

The awarding of the $2,000 Grant to the RFH Spanish teacher was based on her proposal entitled “Cuba: One Year Later,” in reference to the time that has passed since U.S. President Barack Obama and Cuban President Raul Castro announced their “normalization” plan. The grant will allow Gauss and fellow educators to participate in a Witness for Peace Delegation in Cuba, hosted by the People to People Organization.

The group plans to get involved with and learn about many aspect of Cuban life and culture,

including:

• The literacy campaign that led to Cuba’s designation as an “illiteracy-free” zone by the United Nations

• Current education practices for Cuban youth and communities

• Local, sustainable agriculture

• The current “drivers” of the economy

• Cuba’s response to global climate change, a particular threat to island nations

• Creation of the art that sustains the Cuban soul, and live performances at The Martin

Luther King Center – a vibrant hub for community education and faith

• Ecology as it relates to the earth, the community, and the mind

Gauss currently teaches Spanish I, Spanish IV, Spanish IV Honors, and Advanced Placement (AP) Spanish at RFH. The activities she plans while in Cuba correlate directly to the AP Spanish Language and Culture Curriculum, with a focus on Contemporary Life, Global Challenges, Personal and Public Identities, Family and Community, Beauty and Esthetics, and Science and Technology.

Upon her return, Gauss will develop curricular materials, activities, and presentations to share her findings with her students.

“I am very excited for the opportunity to enhance my Spanish language skills while developing an understanding of the Cuban people, their rich cultural heritage, and their perspective on

being at the forefront of social change,” said Gauss. “I am also looking forward to sharing my insights with students in all of my classes, and working to coordinate cross-disciplinary activities.”