Being the oxygen that fuels the flame (of service)

By Rotary International

Vasanth Kuppuswamy motivates students in Tamil Nadu, India.

By Bill Smyth, Rotary Club of Mt. Pleasant, South Carolina, USA

It’s not every day that an eighth-grade student’s essay rivets a teacher’s attention. But this one themed “The Oxygen That Fueled the Flame” got mine.

The essay, written by a student at Buist Academy in Charleston, South Carolina, USA, described his experience two summers earlier teaching English in Tamil Nadu, India, motivated by a desire to make a difference in kid’s lives. The story would have been powerful enough if the student had been of high school age, but this was the story of a 12-year-old boy.

I met Vasanth Kuppuswamy, and told him he had a wonderful story and needed to tell it. We agreed he should come to my school and speak to my seventh graders. We arranged for a lunch time presentation that January and the rest is history.

Students and Rotary clubs in South Carolina were inspired to help by Kuppuswamy’s description of crowded classrooms with no walls.

As my students watched the slideshow and listened to the story of two schools in the middle of south-central India, they were sad, disturbed, and a little mad. They had never seen or heard anything …read more

Source:: Rotary International Blog

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