st mark parish

222 McVeagh Road  -  westbrook, ct  -  (860) 399-9207

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Rotary Club Sponsors Creole Dictionaries

book1On July 17, 2013, the Rotary Club of Old Saybrook donated $680 to Walk with Haiti to enable us to buy Haitian Creole/English Dictionaries for our 40 scholarship students in Haiti. This generous donation was suggested because this Rotary Club already has a long-standing program of giving dictionaries to school children in the surrounding shoreline towns.

At the annual Haiti Dinner held in May 2012 at St. Mark’s Church, we heard Haitian speaker Junior Bernard tell his amazing story related to such a dictionary. He taught himself English from a dictionary and made himself fluent by finding English-speaking aid workers in Haiti and following them around to practice his English. He became a translator and was eventually given a scholarship to study in the United States.


The dictionaries we have bought for our scholarship students will not only help us communicate better with them, but also help them at school and beyond, since they speak Creole, are taught in French, but most of the best textbooks are in English.

We took the dictionaries to Haiti on the parish trip in November 2013, where we were able to personally deliver them to the children. They were very grateful and several came up to us later to say how useful they will be for them. One boy said he had been learning his English from writing out the lyrics from popular songs.

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 Contact: Peg Patierno, 860-399-6808