Snohomish principal building a school of hope a half a world away

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by MEG COYLE / KING 5 News

Bio | Email | Follow: @MegCoyleKING

KING5.com

Posted on January 24, 2013 at 7:46 PM

SNOHOMISH, Wash. -- There are school lessons best learned from a text book. And then there are the school lessons best learned outside the classroom. It’s what one Snohomish school principal is teaching from half a world away.

Remember when you were a kid and a visit from the principal was a scary prospect? At Riverview Elementary in Snohomish, principal Tammy Jones’ visits to class are part of a journey everyone is a part of.

“The whole motto of the trip was to build a school and change lives. And that’s exactly what we did,” said Jones.

Jones recently returned from Constanza, a small village in the Dominican Republic. She was one of 10 elementary school principals selected to help build a school for children who desperately need one.

“There’s not enough classrooms. There are too many kids, so that’s why I helped them build a school,” she said.

But Jones built something even bigger than that.

“It was really about building those relationships building that hope,” she said.

And speaking in a classroom filled with second, third and fourth graders, it was about building empathy.

“Are we lucky?” she asked her students. “Yes! We are totally lucky! But the children of Constanza are just like you guys!”

For 4th grader Chase Wright—lesson learned.

“How we have a really good life compared to them,” he said.

Jones says it’s about taking moments in life to stop, appreciate and know that even from the town of Snohomish students and their principal can and are making a difference.

“Yeah I might think about donating a little money from my piggy bank,” said third grader Cheyenne Rodgers.

Jones hopes to raise about $3,000 so she can return to the Dominican Republic on a reunion mission in December.
 

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