November 5th, 2009, at 7:00 p.m. in the MMS Auditorium, VARIETY SHOW 3 opens…to strengthen the BRIDGE TO DARIÉN
In 2008, students at Middlesex Middle School, in Darien, Connecticut, undertook the project of building a permanent virtual bridge between their community and the remote, rural province of Darién, Panamá, where their town found its present name over 200 years ago. They discovered that Darién is Panamá´s largest and least-populated province, situated in the heart of the Central American rainforest, on the isthmus which connects North and South America. They also learned that resources are not abundant and that, in order to blog and videoconference with students in the “original” Darién, they would need to stretch a helping hand across the miles to enable the required technology to exist and function.
Middlesex Principal Dr. Boccanfuso recommended that the school sponsor a school in Darién. Working through Panamá´s top-rated non-profit organization, La Fundación Pro-Niños de Darién, MMS students formed Darien a Darién to build a virtual bridge of friendship between the two places with different names, and staged two variety shows to raise funds for the building of a computer lab filled with laptops specifically designed for use in the high heat and humidity of the rainforest. Through the students’ diligence and generous donations from parents, this dream materialized in 2009. Nicanor School, in Darién, now has a computer lab of its own.
These are Nicanor School’s new computers, built specifically for use in the rainforest.
This is Nicanor’s beautiful new computer lab.
Nicanor’s classrooms were remodeled after Variety Show 2, and we are told by our friends at the Fundación Pro-Niños that Nicanor is now the only school in the province which has tiled floors throughout the building. They also have remodeled indoor and outdoor kitchens, and likewise a refurbished dining hall. Children at the school grow their own nutritious lunches in the school’s garden and orchard.
The children show a visiting MMS teacher their orchard and garden. Since the second variety show, they now have a new poultry facility and lots of chickens which they are presently raising.
The Panamanian government has a project which they call Conéctate al Conocimiento. In English, this means “Get Connected to Knowledge.” Because of the Middlesex Darien to Dariénproject, the government has pledged to connect Nicanor School to the Internet and to maintain that service. If all goes well, students in the two Dariens will be videoconferencing and blogging — exchanging ideas, viewpoints, and learning — before the year is out.
Seeking to build a playground for Nicanor School — and perhaps a fence to surround the site, which is now viewed as a replicable model for other educational institutions in the region — students at MMS are presenting Variety Show 3on the 5th of November, at 8:00. All reserved seats are $10, and tickets are available now. The bridge to Darién is being strengthened, along with the friendship enjoyed by students on both sides.
EL ESPECTÁCULO 3 será el 5 de noviembre a las 7:00 de la noche. Sigue el proyecto DARIEN A DARIÉN.
Los estudiantes de Middlesex Middle School esperan poder empezar este año con videoconferencias y otras comunicaciones con sus nuevos amigos de la escuela Nicanor. Como ya saben todos, el pueblo de Darien, en el estado de Connecticut (Estados Unidos), tomó su nombre de Darién, Panamá, hace unos 200 años. Ya estamos construyendo un puente virtual entre los dos Darienes, brindando una amistad sincera. Con el tercer espectáculo, estaremos ofreciendo apoyo y, a la vez, celebrando el éxito que ha tenido este proyecto estudiantil. Este año, si Dios quiere, tendremos la oportunidad de empezar un intercambio de ideas y cultura, con correo electrónico, teleconferencias, y mucho más.
¡Qué siga para siempre el proyecto Darien a Dariény los lazos bien fuertes que existen entre los dos Darienes!