Last year,  Jenny Luca reached out to my daughter Laura and invited her to Skype with her students, who live a world away from us in Australia. I remember how mesmerized Laura was by this possibility and the way her eyes widened when she caught view of Jenny’s students on our monitor.

“They look like the kids from Harry Potter!” she said, marvelling at their uniforms, which are a novelty to her. Since that day, Laura has been eager to wear one of her own, and she’s also been eager to chat with them again, because the entire session was littered with laughter and enthusiastic chatter.

No one is laughing in Australia this week.

The text below has been reposted from Jenny’s blog. Please do what you can to help our colleagues, their students, and all of the people who have been hurt by this recent tragedy:

Yesterday I posted about the natural disaster that has ravaged the Victorian countryside. Sheryl Nussbaum-Beach read my post and offered to help in any way she could. My good friend Angela Stockman, who I collaborate with on Working together 2 make a difference, also wanted to know what she could do to help. Here we have two Americans reaching out to assist those in a country very distant from their own. Why do they want to help? Firstly no doubt, because they are sensitive people with a desire to assist their fellow citizens of the world. Perhaps they are motivated also because they have formed connections through these networks we are working in and feel a link to a country far from their own.

Sheryl spoke with me tonight and has committed to help me, Angela and other educators who may wish to join us, to do whatever it is we can to raise funds to support those in need. The Red Cross has coordinated a fundraising effort here in Australia. What we are encouraging you to do is to join Working together 2 make a difference and post your efforts there. We will set up a paypal account that will direct the monies you raise to the Red Cross appeal. Here’s what I’ve posted on the Working together 2 make a difference site to enocurage participation;

Victoria, the State I live in in Australia, has been hit by a tragic natural disaster that is affecting the lives of many of our country communities. On Saturday the 7th of Feb., bushfires, fanned by fierce northerly winds in 46 degree celcius temperatures, ravaged our countryside, leading to the deaths of 173 people. This figure is expected to rise to over 200 in the coming days as they gain access to affected areas and search homes. Native animals, livestock and family pets were other victims of this disaster.

So how can we all make a difference? We would love to see our education community from near and far band together to support the communities in need. What is needed is money to help schools rebuild, families rebuild their lost homes and for communities to build the infrastructure needed that has been lost in these fires.

What can you do? Anything that will help your students to understand the need to help others when the situation is dire. Be it a sausage sizzle, free dress day, bake sale, whatever it takes to raise a few dollars that can be used to support others. In the next few days, with the help of Sheryl Nussbaum Beach and some wisdom fron Clarence Fisher, we’ll be setting up a paypal account to direct funds you raise to the Red Cross appeal that has been set up to support those affected. Create a page here and let us know your plans. We can support one another and link our schools to a common cause. Let’s show the world how the education community can use the tools at our disposal to connect and support one another for a common purpose.

So, wherever you are in the world, think about helping out those in need here in Australia. And let’s see just how small our world really is when we connect using these tools for the common good.

We would love to see our cohort rally to support this cause. It will be a wonderful example of the power of these networked connections and their ability to form community that cares and supports one another. Think about what your school can do to help. It doesn’t have to be huge, but whatever it is, it will make a difference. Go and visit Working together 2 make a difference and see what you can co.


1 Comment

  1. Thank you for reposting my post. Jen Wagner who is helping us with this cause has let me know that donations are coming in. Kindness is finding its way to Australia from our international community of educators and it warms our hearts.

    Jenny 🙂

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