Ten disadvantaged children in Nagarote, Nicaragua, will be going to school this year thanks to the Royle Elementary School PTO's used clothing drive.
Big Brothers Big Sisters of Connecticut sponsored the drive and awarded $500 to the school, which in turn donated it to the Norwalk/Nagarote Sister City Project for scholarships for students in Nicaragua.
Meghan Moran, a Spanish teacher at Royle, arranged the partnership with the school's Student Council, Kids Care Organization and PTO. The program also includes a correspondence project with letters in Spanish between the two groups of children.
"We are so excited at Royle School to be working with the Norwalk Nagarote Sister City Project and to piggyback outreach efforts at Middlesex Middle School," Moran said. "The pen-pal letters provide an authentic learning experience for our students and also expose them to the Nicarguan culture, as well as the value of learning a second language."
Project President Tom Kretsch said, "What a great way to learn a language and a culture. We're delighted to be able to facilitate this exchange. It has worked successfully at Middlesex Middle School, also in Darien, and we expect it will be a welcome addition to the World Languages program at Royle School."
Now in its 28th year, the project provides support for a preschool, scholarships for 82 students from first grade through college, and after-school programs for 200 children from ages 6 to 18, as well as a model sustainable farm, where the kids have grown more than 20,000 trees from seed.