Education, then, beyond all other devices of human origin, is the great equalizer of the conditions of man, the balance wheel of the social machinery. Horace Mann
It has been another action filled month on the campus of the Spitler School in Ang Chagn Chass, Cambodia. The school’s second year of existence (2006-2007) came to a close at the end of July and our beautiful little 260 students are now enjoying a seven-week summer vacation. Like teachers and parents everywhere in the world we hope they don’t forget too much of what they have learned by the time September rolls around and it is time get back into the classroom.
We sent our July newsletter out on the day that Virginie Paessler arrived as a volunteer teacher for the month of July. Virginie, who is from England, heard about our school from our good friend and supporter, Lex Latkovski, and she offered her services for a month as she was spending an adventurous summer exploring Southeast Asia. She went right to work, not only teaching English to the students but also to our teachers.
Virginie teaches curious children many strange English words.
Construction continued through the month as we completed the rebuilding of the second classroom building and began work on the third and final (for now) classroom.
Building number two reaches the end of construction and number three rises up.
In early July Pam and I attended the Kiwanis International Convention in San Antonio, Texas, where I happen to make a contact with an organization called King Benevolent Fund. They are a Christian charitable organization with a number of programs, one of which provides parasite medicine and vitamins to impoverished children. I shared our school story with Albert Hester and learned that he was preparing to leave for Cambodia the following week with a medical team. One thing led to another and two weeks later Albert, a doctor, a nurse, and a film crew were at our school examining our kids and leaving us a supply of much needed medical supplies.
With all the exciting developments going on we just couldn’t end the school year without a “blow out” celebration to finish the school year. Sarin and Virginie invited all those associated with the school to attend the year-end bash, which featured lots of games, drinks and snacks for the children and a nice meal for teachers, visitors, and village leaders.
It has been an amazing and fulfilling year for all of us that have been associated with our two-year-old school project. It is hard to imagine that only two years have passed since Sarin sent me a photo of this little piece of land and ask if Pam and I would consider helping him to build a simple little schoolhouse as a place where a few young children could learn. Obviously we had no idea where it would lead…but perhaps God did.
School Site in June, 2005 Our Campus, July, 2007
While the kids will be a taking a break from their studies for a few weeks Sarin and Mary and others who help with the school will be busy preparing for the mid-September start of the 2007-2008 school year. We will add a fourth grade class, and we are estimating that an additional 70 students will start kindergarten, which will move our student population to approximately 330. We have hired a new teacher, which brings our teaching staff to eight. We will need to purchase new books and instructional material for the fourth grade class. We have ordered 20 more desks to handle the increased student load, and of course we need to complete the re-construction of the third and last classroom building.
Our wish list includes the desire to:
Purchase more water filters and mosquito nets for our children and their families.
Increase and improve our latrine facilities.
Put together a hygiene program that can be taught to the children and their families.
Facilitate additional medical and dental assistance to the children and the village.
Provide some nutritional supplements to enhance the children’s diets.
Continue to network with other organizations that might be able to assist the village.
We wish to thank the following individuals who contributed to the Spitler School Foundation in the last 30 days.
Virginie Paessler – Our Volunteer Extraordinaire
Shar Lynn Marr
Lou and Claudine Hopper
Jerry and Carol Pickens
We continue to be thankful that so many friends and acquaintances are so interested in this project. We are particularly appreciative to those of you who have helped out financially. Your contributions have been especially helpful now as we pay for the reconstruction of the three classroom buildings and all the costs associated with starting a new fourth grade, as well as providing teachers and supplies for 330 students in September.
There is a great sense of accomplishment in knowing that we are making a significant difference in the lives of some children who, two years ago, had very little hope. We certainly welcome your continued interest and support.
If anyone would like to have a copy of the expense reports for the foundation please send me an email request and I will be glad to provide them.
We have added photos to the 2007 school website you can access them directly by clicking to the following link: http://dannypam.smugmug.com/gallery/2604770/6
The newest photos begin on page six of the album.
Danny & Pam and the rest of the Spitler Family
Daniel Spitler, President
Spitler School Foundation
P.O. Box 730
Peoria, AZ 85380
“Resource Providers for Cambodian School Children” www.dannypam.smugmug.com/gallery/602793/