Paul Benzaquin Taught English to Orphaned Children in Ethiopia this July
A Grubb mini-sabbatical brought music teacher Paul Benzaquin to Ethiopia this past July to teach English to orphaned children in Addis Ababa with the Selamta Family Project.
Accompanied by his daughter Amaya, Nashoba Brooks ‘17 alumna, and his wife Rebecca, Paul taught English as a second language to teenagers and primary school students.
Selamta is an organization that takes a unique approach to the orphan crisis in Ethiopia. Orphaned children join with disenfranchised women to form "forever families" that are supported with donations from abroad. Children do not age out, and are supported well into their independent adulthood. Mr. Benzaquin taught English classes in the morning to teenage students from the Selamta families. On Fridays, a camp was offered for primary age children in the neighborhood.
Using a borrowed guitar, and many of the same songs he uses in his classroom, Mr. Benzaquin found the use of music to be a wonderful vehicle to create connection and joy in the classes. Echo songs were a great way to get students putting words together with proper vocal inflections. Movement songs helped students to fully engage with the music and language. Students benefited from hearing a native English speaker singing and speaking.
Each night, Mr. Benzaquin and his family would join Selamta families for traditional Ethiopian food, popcorn, and Ethiopian coffee. There was much laughter while playing cards, and other games.
“I am extremely grateful to Nashoba Brooks School for its support of my trip to Ethiopia, allowing me to use my musical skills to help orphaned children to learn English.” said Mr. Benzaquin. “It was one of the most enriching two weeks of my life, and the experience will have a lasting impact on me and my family.”
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by Meredith Gannon, Grade 4 homeroom and humanities teacher
In all aspects of our children’s lives, we want them to engage in new experiences. Our hope is that children will grasp new opportunities, build connections with peers and mentors, and diversify their skill sets. However, taking that first step is challenging.
Grade 2 students took a field trip to Gaining Ground in October. Gaining Ground is a non-profit organic farm in Concord that grows vegetables and fruit, with the help of community volunteers, for people in need.
Internationally recognized thought leader in K-12 education Grant Lichtman visited campus for the day to share his insights into today’s evolving K-12 landscape, addressing how parents and educators can support our students through change and innovation to best prepare for the future.
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On October 10, the School Safety committee welcomed current parents to a meeting on School Safety, which included a presentation by Michele Gay, Co-founder and Executive Director of Safe and Sound: A Sandy Hook Initiative.
On Friday, June 2, Massachusetts State Representatives Kay Kahn and Cory Atkins joined with representatives from C-SPAN and Comcast in celebrating Nashoba Brooks' six winning teams in the 2017 Middle School C-SPAN StudentCam documentary competition.
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The first of this year’s graduations was joyfully celebrated this morning when teachers, administrators, parents, relatives, and friends gathered to honor the 27 members of Nashoba Brooks School’s third grade.