Letter to the Editor

Exchange offers new experiences

Wednesday, April 20, 2005

To the editor:

A month ago, I was given the opportunity to substitute teach in the Cape Girardeau School District for my wife, who visited Bolivia as part of a Rotary International group study exchange. I want to thank the staff and students at Clippard and Franklin elementary schools for being so gracious. I have a new appreciation for what the staff members at these two schools do each day. Both schools have excellent teachers who strive to nurture our students, and it was apparent through the students' attitudes that this has been accomplished.

I want to share my wife's experience as well. She and four others were sponsored by Rotary District 6060 for a one-month visit to Bolivia. The largest Rotary International project is eradicating polio. One project in Bolivia that Missouri Rotary clubs have been supporting is improving adult literacy. Since the project started, many people who couldn't read are now teaching classes to continue this program. Other projects range from cancer hospitals and heart transplants to building schools. The Rotarians in Bolivia did a great job taking care of my wife and the rest of her group.

Now there is a Bolivian exchange group in Missouri. They will be in Cape Girardeau for the last part of their trip. I know Cape Girardeau will treat the Bolivians as well as the Bolivians treated our group from Missouri.

Thank you again to the Cape Girardeau School District and Rotary International for our experiences.

CRAIG THOMAS, Cape Girardeau