LIU Adjunct Professor of Education to Travel to Dominican Republic to Build School
Riverhead, N.Y. -- Susan Wright is a lifelong educator who has devoted her professional career to local schools. Later this month she'll help build one.
From November 29 through December 6 Wright, the assistant principal at Southampton Intermediate School and an adjunct professor of education at Long Island University at Riverhead, will travel to the Dominican Republic with a group of educators and volunteers from the photography company Lifetouch, helping to construct a school, complete needed chores and visit with community members.
"I feel blessed with what I have -- a good family, a good job, a nice little home," said Wright who teaches master’s level courses in special education at the Riverhead location. "Life is about giving back. You never know where it will lead."
Wright, who says she's "apprehensive but excited" about her trip, will spend a week in Constanza, an agricultural community in the mountains northwest of the capitol, Santo Domingo. While there, the volunteers, who are made up of members of the American Association of School Administrators (AASA), the National Association of Elementary School Principals (NAESP), and the National Association of Secondary School Principals (NASSP) will meet with the Dominican Republic Secretary of Education and a host of educators, to discuss the American education system.
At present, the school in Constanza houses more than 1,100 children in one building. The workers on the mission will construct the first floor of a two-story school. Subsequent missions with other volunteers will complete the building.
"This is a place of extreme poverty," Wright said. "The families live in shacks. But education is very important. When the children leave their homes, they are whistle-clean in khakis and pressed shirts." Wright said right now, the students travel from extreme distances by foot on dirt roads to get an education. Over 400 students will attend the new school, which is centrally located to where a majority of the people live.
Wright is planning to start a blog so she can keep her family, friends and students posted on what she is doing each day.
As part of her commitment to the mission, Wright must raise $1,500 in donations to help pay for the supplies needed to build the school. To support her efforts, visit http://worldservants.org.
"We are only on earth a short time," said Wright. "It's all about helping others and paying it forward."
Posted: November 7, 2011