By Teachers Helping Teachers Coordinator Pat Dougherty
On Saturday, June 28th,
2008, THT was approved as a Special Interest Group for the Japanese Association
of Language Teachers. This will accomplish a few objectives that I promised
Bill Balsamo we would attain on his behalf.
The first was to insure that THT had a structure that would
allow it to continue its work well into the future, the second was to ensure
that the program remained based in Japan, and the third was to grant it entry
to a greater audience for volunteers and potential host institutions.
schedule for 2009 is set.
We have confirmation from the Philippines, Lao-American
College, Hue University, and the Bangladesh English Language Teachers
Association. These will all be
encore performances for THT. We
also are working on the possibility of having programs in India, Nepal, and
Also, we have
formally established a William Balsamo Memorial
Scholarship Foundation to award financial scholarships to recipients in the
host countries where THT has conferences.
This is an organization that is separate from THT, but organized so that
the coordinator of THT will be the president of the scholarship
foundation. The seed money for
this scholarship fund came from the "flea market" at the June 8th
memorial meeting. From that, we
raised 199,715 yen. We granted a
scholarship to Hue University at THT/Hue 2008 and a scholarship at
THT/Philippines 2008. Each was for
40,000 yen. That amount goes far
in these countries, and it has the potential to impact lives for the positive.
Our plan is to award scholarships at each THT event, finances allowing. If anyone is
interested in donating to
the scholarship fund, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org
and email@example.com. I will
the necessary information to make a donation and will send a receipt for
records and tax purposes.
We have a fundraiser
for the scholarship program. Working with our
hosts in the Philippines, we have ordered one hundred THT t-shirts from a
supplier in Manila. They will be
available at the first annual THT National Meeting at JALT2008. You can select any color that you
want, as long as it’s black. The cost will be 1500 yen, but donations higher
than that will not be refused. We
will also, mysteriously, never have change if you ask for it. If you would like a shirt reserved for
you, or if you will not be able to attend the meeting but want a shirt (or
three), please contact me. Bill
Balsamo was a champion fundraiser and humanitarian, and we will maintain the
Teachers Helping Teachers is firmly
stepping into the future. We shall
continue our commitment to give service and support to our fellow educators and
students in Asia. I believe that
in doing this, each of us grows as a professional and as a person.