Jamestown Noon Rotarians Enlighten Bush Students On Cambodia

David Troxell videotaped Bush Elementary School school third grader Javon’tae Hampton about his life for a project with Cambodian students while fellow third graders, Jose Perez-Cruz and Amari Graham, wait their turn.

Marissa and David Troxell gave Bush Elementary School students a unique look at students’ lives in Cambodia. The Troxells met with third graders to tell stories and display photographs and video of their yearly trip to a Cambodian school. Students were able to see classrooms, the cafeteria, playground and library, along with some of the local culture like Cambodian homes, food and transportation. They also discussed how the Cambodian children were similar or different to their own lives. The Troxells also showed students the team’s improvements made to the school including installing new chalkboards and providing grass to create a playground area through the support of the Noon Rotary Club. During the visit, the Troxells discussed how Cambodian students share many of the same daily activities as Bush students do during their school day.

“I got involved with Marissa and David Troxell due to the Noon Rotary Club,” said Bush Elementary School third-grade teacher Amy Anderson. “The Noon Rotary Club has been coming to Bush School for the past three years to read with our kids during our PARP (Parents as Reading Partners) week. Marissa and David have been two very active participants in this program. Prior to that, the Rotarians worked with me when I taught at Washington School. We did a ‘Read to Feed’ program that David and Marissa also sponsored and read with students. They are very active in our community and our paths have crossed many times. Last year, after having such a great week of reading with Bush kids, Marissa asked if we would be interested in helping them with their Cambodian School project and we said YES!”

The visit by the Troxells fits perfectly with the third graders curriculum for both English Language Arts and social studies. Every fall, students spend about two months studying how children access books and knowledge around the world. They learn about the power of reading and how some children have to “fight” for what many of our students get for free. They also study geography and where we are on this planet in comparison to others. The third graders use literature and informational text such as My Librarian Is a Camel to introduce students to the power of literacy and how people around the world access books. Students examine the main message in literature about individuals and groups from world communities, including the United States, who have gone to great lengths to access education. Students also delve into geography, and how where one lives in the world impacts how one accesses books.

In addition to the slideshow, the Troxells also created individual videos of the Bush students to take back to Cambodia to show those students how U.S. kids live as part of their “Learning English” project. The Cambodian students are learning English and will tape interviews to respond to the Bush students on how they live, which they will bring back to Bush to show the third graders. The Troxells also took a group photograph and a video of the entire class saying hello to the Cambodian Academy.