Dowagiac native raising money for Dominican Republic school
Published 9:22 am Wednesday, May 27, 2015
While the annual celebration of moms and the hardships they endure may have passed this year in the U.S., there’s still time for area residents to make a difference in the lives of mothers and children overseas.
The staff of the Dominican Republic’s 3 Mariposas Montessori are currently accepting donations for their annual “A Mother’s Wish” fundraiser. School founder/headmaster Sarah Ludwig-Ross, a Dowagiac native, is looking to raise $30,000 for student scholarships by May 31, when Mother’s Day in the Caribbean nation is celebrated.
The school began holding the fundraiser several years ago, and it has since become its largest donation drive, Ludwig-Ross said.
“[Our goal] is enough to provide 25 scholarships to children attending our school,” Ludwig-Ross said. “Seventy percent of our kids are on full scholarships. That’s why this is such a big deal to us; it’s a big deal for our kids.”
Ludwig-Ross, a 1992 graduate of Dowagiac Union High School, founded 3 Mariposas in 2009 in the village of Cabarete, located on the northern coast of the Dominican Republic. The school, whose name means “three butterflies” in Spanish, provides English lessons and other educational programs to children, parents and teachers, the headmaster said.
Initially with a staff of one (Ludwig-Ross) handling 16 students, the school has grown over the years, with 13 teachers and administrators (many of whom are DR natives) who are responsible for the education of 51 people currently enrolled at the institution.
“Over the years, word about the school has begun to spread,” Ludwig-Ross said. “More people are visiting and getting excited about what we are doing.”
The school has also enjoyed the support of volunteers from abroad over the years, who have shared their educational expertise with students.
Despite living and working an ocean and thousands of miles away, Ludwig-Ross has continued to receive regular support from residents and businesses in her hometown. One of her school’s largest benefactors is the St. Denys Foundation, though she also receives contributions from Dowagiac residents as well, she said.
“It warms my heart when people from my hometown support me from afar, especially since so many of them have never seen the school in person,” Ludwig-Ross said.
People interested in contributing to the “A Mother’s Wish” campaign can do so by visiting the fundraiser’s webpage at http://www.razoo.com/story/3-Mariposas-Montessori-General-Fund.