Special Ed Students Reach Out to Cameroon

School children in Cameroon facing learning disabilities will soon have new resources thanks to a project by a group of students and faculty in the Arkansas Tech University College of Education.

Dr. Jackie Paxton’s junior level special education classes developed activities to address a wide variety of disabilities during the spring 2017 semester. The resources they created will be sent to the Ray of Hope Academy, which is operated in Douala, Cameroon, by former Arkansas Tech student Ernest Ehabe.

Ehabe founded the school in 2016 after he and his wife recognized a need for special needs education when none was available in Douala for their child.

Many of the activities created by the ATU education students are built around items that are readily available in Cameroon. For the activities that require specialized items more accessible in the United States, ATU College of Education faculty member Dr. Timothy Leggett pitched in by gathering the necessary supplies. They will be shipped to the Ray of Hope Academy to accompany the activities.

“This initiative is an example of our faculty and students embracing the notion of participating as citizens of the world,” said Dr. Mary Gunter, dean of the ATU College of Education and Graduate College. “By addressing a pressing need in an underserved region, our students have applied their classroom experiences to a real-world solution. I extend my congratulations and appreciation to all involved.”

Activities in the final project document, entitled “The Cameroon Project,” are segmented by age groups.

As part of the project, the ATU College of Education students studied Cameroon culture to gain a greater understanding of their audience. One result of the research was learning that English and French are both official languages in Cameroon, so the students produced the plan in both languages.

Learn more about the ATU College of Education.

Photo courtesy of Laura Flake, ATU College of Education.

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