November was an action packed month at ISLA Academy. We welcomed several important guest speakers, and led a fundraising and flood relief initiative for those affected by the heavy rains that have seriously impacted our island.
Guest Speakers: Just Give Charity, Hollywood Pro, Ocean & Animal Preservation Experts
Family members from the charity Just Give visited us, and we were happy to share time with Adonie, 11, and Lydia, 8. They are brother and sister, traveling the world with their family, and have raised 1 million US dollars to donate to charities worldwide. They gave us a presentation with their Mom, and were a true inspiration to the children at ISLA Academy. To learn more, visit http://www.justgive.today/
Hollywood producer and cinematographer Zach Graber was in town for a reality television series filming in the area. He gave a cinematography workshop to our students in Phases 4-6, which was fascinating and exciting. Zach spoke about the art of filmmaking, the best techniques in filming to create different moods and effects, and other film industry insights.
Lidia Sophia, an Owl Expert gave students in Phases 1-4 a presentation about the Ashy-Faced owl that is indigenous to the Dominican Republic. She presented extensive information to the students, and they were allowed to safely handle Maku, the rescue owl. It was a terrific learning encounter for our students. Sadly, this breed of owl is endangered, and Lidia spoke about some of the reasons why, including the effects of human behavior connected to issues relating to the food chain (which ties in with our second line of inquiry at ISLA Academy).
Following this tutorial on owls, our Security Guard Francisco noticed something interesting in the garden, which led to further investigation and the discovery of an owl, high up in a tree at ISLA Academy. The students were buzzing with excitement about this sighting.
Dr. Gabriel Maldonado, a PhD Biologist, and former Director of the Liceo Cientifico School in Salcedo, Dominican Republic gave a 3-hour presentation to our students in Phases 5 -6 on parrot fish and their relation to coral reefs. It was an honor to host him as our guest, and our students learned a great deal about the ocean, and the importance of preservation efforts. The topic led to challenging questions by our students about the future of tourism in the Dominican Republic, and our responsibilities as World citizens.