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IN THE SPOTLIGHT
ANS’s Commitment to Community
By Gerardo Peralta 19-Mar-15
The American Nicaraguan School (ANS) in Managua, Nicaragua prides itself on the impact its students and staff have made throughout their 70 years of service to Nicaragua’s educational community. Following the mission of developing its multicultural student community into “ethical individuals capable of realizing their leadership potential by making meaningful contributions to society,” ANS offers a total of 17 high-impact community service clubs from which its more than 970 students can choose. “Community service starts at an early age at ANS,” comments Jennifer Jun, Elementary School Principal. “Having successfully finished a five-year community service campaign for Los Ladinos school, our students have now begun to help our new sister school, 15 de Septiembre. Recently the students fundraised and donated 500 books along with furnishings for the school’s first library. Also, they have raised funds and given the school a 200-meter-long perimeter fence, playgrounds, improved bathroom facilities, and school supplies.” Support is not limited to material goods, as the students frequently engage and interact through grade-level activities, including hosting Thanksgiving dinners and sponsoring 15 de Septiembre’s students on field trips. This allows the ANS students to “witness the growth of what they have planted,” adds Mrs. Jun. Helping the community is an ambition that is fostered throughout the middle school and high school, in which over 90 percent of the graduating students voluntarily participate in community service clubs. “I have had the chance to build houses for people in need. Using my bare hands to build a structure that will shelter a family from the elements is truly a gratifying experience—one I wish to add to throughout my college studies,” mentions Maria Elena Granera, a senior and president of ANS’s chapter of “Un Techo Para Mi País” (A Roof for My Country). Student community service clubs include those that work with major international and local NGOs, as well as smaller, student-led initiatives. “The ANS Pink Club is proud to have raised enough funds to cover the medical expenses of a breast cancer patient with economic needs,” Pink Club president Rosaura Escobar says. “We are very close to being able to fully support a second patient, covering her treatment for the next five years.” ANS Pink club works with Fundación Ortiz Gurdian, the major Nicaraguan breast cancer awareness entity. Other student-led initiatives also include bringing clean drinking water to rural communities in Nicaragua through the installation of water filters, while raising awareness about keeping water resources clean. “We are glad to have our teachers as advisors,” comments Granera. “I believe this is also a great opportunity for them to get involved and make a difference in Nicaraguan people’s lives.” The American Nicaraguan School is a non-profit, multicultural private institution celebrating its 70th anniversary of serving the Nicaraguan educational community. Visit www.ans.edu.ni or email [email protected]
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