News Release

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Students volunteer as teachers in Tanzania

08/31/2007

T.J. Bittel, a recent Miami graduate, spent the summer voluteering in Tanzania. Above, he visits with Masai children during a side trip.
Ten Miami students spent a month this summer as volunteer English teachers at two different schools in Tanzania. They are members of the African School Advancement Program (ASAP) founded at Miami in 2004. The trip was part of a student educational leadership designed course, Teaching in Tanzania.

ASAP originally organized to collect and distribute supplies for schools in Ghana and Senegal. They opened a chapter at New York University in 2005; that chapter took over Ghanaian operations so the Miami chapter expanded efforts to Tanzania, working in conjunction with Health, Education and Life, a Tanzanian non-governmental organization.

Meredith Poff, a senior from Charlotte, N.C., is ASAP president. This summer's trip was her third to Africa, but first to Tanzania. She is a psychology major with a minor in economics.

"All volunteers were also able to go on multiple safaris during the trip and encounter many of the joys and consequences of living in the developing world," she said.

Other students who volunteered include: Chris Zeek, a senior international studies major; Kelsey Laitinen, a senior psychology major; Lynn Bahret, a senior middle childhood education major; Charlotte Sherman, a senior international studies/French major; T.J. Bittel, Miami '07; Hilary O'Sullivan, a junior speech pathology and audiology major; Jessie Lane, a senior English literature major; Alyssa Gordos, a junior zoology major; and Maggie Spring, Miami '07.

Funding was provided by the students, Associated Student Government and the Miami Parents Fund. Each Tanzanian school received supplies and English curriculum books.

ASAP members and another student group, Ambassadors for Children, will discuss their work and opportunities for students at an Africa Awareness event, 1-5 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 26, in the Shriver Center multipurpose rooms. The public is invited to attend.

For more information, visit www.miamiasap.blogspot.com or web.mac.com/zeekcw.

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