Sun Prairie educators return from Burma trip helping students ov - WQOW TV: Eau Claire, WI NEWS18 News, Weather, and Sports

Sun Prairie educators return from Burma trip helping students overseas


SUN PRAIRIE (WKOW) -- Sun Prairie teachers return from an education trip overseas helping school children in Burma.

The "Project Paramie" team was on Wake Up Wisconsin in June before they left for their one month trip. They have now returned and have started to implement lessons learned in Burma in their own classrooms in Sun Prairie.

It was a trip of a lifetime for educators at Horizon Elementary School in Sun Prairie. They helped charter schools in Burma with hands-on training seminars and learning how American education values can be spread to other parts of the world.

"Something we were pleased and surprised by was their sense of community," said Deana Blum, a 3rd grade teacher at Horizon Elementary School. "Whether it was in school or the villages they seemed to care about one another more than we do here. It was really inspiring."

Educators Ali Armstrong, Stephen Mulich, Kathryn Fishnick and Deana Blum of Horizon Elementary School observed charity schools to generate a formal report to the National League for Democracy, about the current state of Burmese schools and recommendations for improvements.

"As far as we know we're the first group to come and donate our time and work with the rural outlining schools," said Ali Armstrong, a school counselor at Horizon Elementary School.

The non-profit, "Project Paramie" was founded by Burmese-English interpreter Thin Thin Rodgers. She wants to continue to help students and educators in Burma.

"I don't think I have done enough, so I don't see it as something I accomplished," said Rodgers. "I feel like I could do more."

The team says a lot of schools in Burma need to expand, they need new construction and more money in the system to improve resources. They're currently raising money to continue their mission in Burma.

Click here for more information or if you want to donate to the organization.

Click here for a link to the "Project Paramie" Facebook page.

"Project Paramie" was envisioned as a resource to introduce successful American teaching styles collaboratively with Burmese educators. Having grown up in Burma and immigrating to the United States in 1999, Rodgers has always had a strong desire to contribute back to her birth country, yet until now, no outside aid organizations have been allowed into this isolated Southeast Asian nation. After political easing in Burma, starting in 2011, outside assistance was finally allowed to enter, and "Project Paramie" was born.

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