9/1/2004

Monroe-Baillargeon Travels to Thailand to Teach, Deliver School Supplies

Ann Monroe-Baillargeon, assistant professor, spent a busy and fruitful three weeks traveling in Thailand along the Burmese border this summer.

She began her trip in Bangkok, teaching a graduate course through the College of New Jersey to students that teach at International Schools. She was also honored with an invitation to be the commencement speaker at the College's teacher certification program in Thailand, which took place while she was there.

Following Bangkok, her travels took her to the border city of Mae Sot to visit Mae La, a camp of 40,000 Burmese refugees that have fled to Thailand. There, Monroe-Baillargeon delivered supplies donated to local orphanages and schools, some of them from Warner School faculty. I continually learn more about myself as a person, and how I am privileged by who I am and where I live in the world," she says of her experiences at Mae La.

In addition to the refugee camps, Monroe-Baillargeon was also able to visit a Karen village in Thailand. Karens are an ethnic group that lives along the Burmese border. While in the village, she met with teachers of a small pre-school and discussed issues concerning children with disabilities. In particular, they discussed a child enrolled in the school that is unable to speak. The teachers were surprised to learn that the inclusion of this child is also beneficial for the other children at the school.

Monroe-Baillargeon began visiting the refugee camps two years ago and hopes to continue providing supplies and services to them. "I am challenged as a teacher educator to communicate with all teachers, and to share the universal importance of educating all children, and the challenges and benefits of meeting the needs of a diverse classroom community," she says.

Tags: Ann Monroe-Ballergeon, community service