KCRTA members learn about the Rosa Elena School in Hatillo, Dominican Republic
Oct 24, 2013 | 228 views | 0 0 comments | 4 4 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Debbie Witte and Rosemary Vickery speak to KCRTA about the work done at the Rosa Elena School in the Dominican Republic.
Debbie Witte and Rosemary Vickery speak to KCRTA about the work done at the Rosa Elena School in the Dominican Republic.
In the 1990’s in a divorce settlement a Dominican Republic woman named Rosa Elena was granted a small amount of seemingly worthless land in the town of Hatillo. The land slanted straight down on both sides of a gorge, which would apparently limit building on the property. But Rosa Elena had a vision and a desire to reach the children in the poor community of Hatillo – children with no hope of getting an education and with no future because of their educational needs. Her vision was to build a school for them, and her dream became a reality. Children who could not pay tuition to go to a public school eventually were able to attend the Rosa Elena School and receive meals there also. In 2007 South Texas Children’s Home Ministries and First Baptist Church Kenedy began to help Rosa Elena in a variety of ways. At the October 16th meeting of the Karnes County Retired Teachers’ Association members learned about work carried out during a mission trip by FBC Kenedy to Hatillo this past summer. Debbie Witte spoke about the teacher training in reading she conducted for the school’s faculty. Rosemary Vickery presented a video showing the improvements made to the school facility through the years, including a new kitchen, bathrooms, new open-air enramada for eating and tutoring and a fenced playground. KCTRA members enjoyed hearing the inspirational story of the work of Rosa Elena and her plans for the future.

The October meeting of KCRTA was called to order by President Jan Anderson, and Elaine Opiela provided the opening prayer and then led the pledges to the American flag and the Texas flag. President Anderson reminded members to keep track of their community service volunteer hours for a report to the state in January 2014. Legislative Chairman Gretchen Dupnik provided the members with a very useful handout on the constitutional amendments that will be voted on Nov. 5. She also asked members to contact their state legislators to thank them for the cost-of-living increase to the annuities retired personnel receive. Anderson explained the “Each One Bring One” membership incentive offered by TRTA. Current TRTA members become eligible for entry in a drawing for each new member they recruit to join the organization. At the TRTA annual convention in April $100 will be awarded to each of the winning entries that are drawn. Anderson also reviewed the member benefits offered by TRTA. Laquita Gibbens, Scholarship Chairman, reported all scholarship recipients have been sent their checks. Laquita will also be contacting the Karnes County school districts to determine the number of kindergarten students. Each year KCRTA provides books for the kindergarten classes. Pam Kerlick and Jean Perkins brought books for the project to the meeting.

With the business portion of the meeting concluded, members were served peach cobbler. The program of the day was the presentation by Debbie Witte and Rosemary Vickery. At the Nov. 20 meeting the speaker will be Gina Sugarek of Beeville who will speak on fitness as we age. KCRTA meetings are held at Barth’s Restaurant, 2:30 PM, on the third Wednesday of the month. Karnes County Retired Teachers’ Association is open to all retired school personnel.

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