School for Newly Arrived Haitians

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Haitian youths dance at Toussaint L’Ouverture School for the Arts and Social Justice

Haitian youths dance at Toussaint L’Ouverture School for the Arts and Social Justice in Delray Beach, Fla. hide caption

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An American poetry therapist and a Haitian-American U.S. Army veteran founded a public high school four years ago for the growing Haitian community in the small city in Delray Beach, Fla.

They named the school the Toussaint L'Ouverture School for the Arts and Social Justice, after the father of Haiti's independence movement. These students, most recently arrived from Haiti, learn in their native Creole language and in English.

About 65 percent of the students studying there are recently arrived immigrants from Haiti, which has been battered in the past year by deadly floods and ongoing political strife.

In their English class, the students write poetry to describe the problems in Haiti — and also express their own hopes and dreams. This "audio postcard" from Youth Radio features poetry by students Sherely Luc and Vanessa Ramier, as well as a church choral from the high school girls’ choir.

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