Local teachers spend a week in Haiti

Jeanna Heuring is the Gifted Intervention Specialist for 4th and 5th graders at Toth Elementary and Woodland Elementary in Perrysburg. She has also created an organization devoted to fostering the academic skills of gifted students in developing nations. "I as a teacher of gifted children in the United States could use my skills and abilities to help children in developing nations to have the same kind of opportunities that kids in the United States have," Ms. Heuring said. You can learn more about Heuring's organization by visiting the website she created

Sisters Anna and Janelle Pasternak of Blissfield were on last week's mission trip. This was the first time that either woman had gone to Haiti. "I was just shocked at the conditons that all of the people lived under; I have never seen anything remotely like this before in my life," Janelle said. Anna teaches at an art school in Tecumseh, Michigan. Anna spent most of the week with students and teachers at the Brad Reddick School, the elementary school run by Missions International of America. "The children are all very happy and playful and they want to get to know you and they love the attention," Anna said.

Missions International of America was created in 2002 by Dr. Jay Nielsen and his wife Jan Meier-Nielsen. They opened the Brad Reddick School in Savanette in 2006. To date more than 2,000 children have received a free kindergarten through 6th grade education. This month 29 students will graduate from the 6th grade. The school is funded by generous donations given to M.I.A. from people around the world. To learn more about the charity visit their website