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Triton Educators take Mission Trip on Fall Break

November 1, 2017

Triton_MissionTrip2017_1Triton educators used their fall break to deliver supplies and materials along with providing teacher training to the House of Hope in the Dominican Republic.  Jeremy Riffle, elementary principal; Mason McIntyre, high school dean of students; Jill Finley, kindergarten teacher; and Dawn Slain, high school science teacher, summed up their experience in one word…amazing.

Riffle said, “We were pretty focused on trying to prepare and hoping translations would be clear enough for them to actually get something out of our time with them.”

Triton_MissionTrip2017_2The Riffle and McIntyre’s families both sponsor children who attend the House of Hope School. The facility is a home for young girls who have been abandoned and were a part of unfortunate circumstances. According to Riffle, the girls were subjected to sex trade and prostitution before finding safety in the foster home setting. He said, “They get to attend the school and are surrounded by a loving environment to help them deal with the trauma that they have faced in life.”

Although the presenters were given funds to offset the cost of the trip from Play it Forward and The Second Mile Education, the cost of taking their families was out of their own pockets. Riffle’ wife Bethany along with their three children, Gage, Gavin, and Gracie, interacted with the students as well. Riffle said, “The highlight for my kids was meeting Daniel, our sponsor child. We also got to meet his sister Silent, his brother Auendi, and their mother, Dugeidy.” He added, “It amazes me how language barriers can be torn down with a simple smile, fist bump, a soccer ball, and a hug. What a great experience for our kids to think of others over self.”

Triton_MissionTrip2017_3Riffle said, I had certain hopes and expectations for the trip. I wanted my kids to learn how blessed they are to live in America, and not take for granted the many blessings they have.” “Instead I was amazed how my kids do not see the color of someone’s’ skin as a barrier. They were so willing to make friends with absolute strangers.” He said.

The McIntyre’s, Mason, Lindsey, Anna and Sam,  also traveled as a family. They were able to meet the child they sponsor, Robinson.

Riffle said Finley was able to use some of the Spanish words she knew that helped the teachers and administrators they were helping use ideas immediately in their classrooms.


Carol Anders Correspondent