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On Second Anniversary, Haiti Still Recovering From Earthquake

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Impact of earthquake in Haiti from above. Image: UN Photo/Logan Abassi
Impact of devastating earthquake (shown from above). Image: UN Photo/Logan Abassi

Jan. 12 was a significant date for the people of Haiti. It was two years ago on that date that the country suffered a terrible earthquake.

More than a million people had their homes destroyed.

After two years, many people think that new homes, jobs and clean streets are not coming fast enough.

Haiti’s new President, Michel Martelly, is known as Sweet Mickey. He believes education is one of the most important things for the government to fix first.

TKN talked to Catherine Porter, who writes about Haiti for The Toronto Star newspaper.

“In Haiti,” Catherine said, “forty per cent of children never go to school because most schools are private and cost a lot. The president wants all primary students to go to school for free.”

Another hard worker for education in Haiti is Canada’s last Governor-General, Michaelle Jean. She was born in Haiti and works with the president and others to improve the school system.

Haiti earthquake aftermath tent city
Haitian tent city following January 12, 2010 earthquake in Port au Prince. Image: UN Photo/Logan Abassi

Porter said she can see change happening, but only because she knows Haiti so well.

“If you only go to Haiti for a short visit it’s hard to see change because there is still so much to be done,” she said.

She told TKN the story of Carlos, who lost his family in the earthquake. He somehow made his way to a shelter supported by Air Canada boss Duncan Dee. When Porter visited Haiti last September, she saw that Carlos and others were going to school, playing soccer and living in a children’s home that the Dee family built.

People in Canada can help Haitians by donating money through an organization like the Red Cross. Children can become pen pals with children in a school in Haiti to help them keep up their spirits.

CURRICULUM CONNECTIONS
By Jonathan Tilly

Writing/Discussion Prompt
The Canadian minister of International Cooperation, Beverley J. Oda, wrote, “As we mark the second anniversary of this tragic event, we will maintain our commitment to the people of Haiti, who have shown tremendous courage.” How will you continue to support the people of Haiti in 2012?

Reading Prompt: Purpose
Today’s article revisits an event that took place two years ago and reviews what has changed? How is this story unlike other stories on TKN? How is the purpose of today’s article unlike others?

Primary, Junior, & Intermediate
Identify a variety of purposes for reading and choose reading materials appropriate for those purposes (OME, Reading: 1.2).

Grammar Feature: Subject
The subject of a sentence tells who or what is being discussed in the sentence. The position of the subject is in natural order when it is described before the verb (action word). The subject is in unnatural order when it is described after the verb. For this reason, the first sentence below is in unnatural order, while the second is in natural order.

“Another hard worker for education in Haiti is Canada’s last Governor-General, Michaelle Jean. She was born in Haiti and works with the president and others to improve the school system.”

Write 2 sentences about Haiti. Write the first with the subject in natural order and the second with the subject in unnatural order.