Bringing Haiti to Vanderbilt

While The Joseph School primarily serves our Haitian community, our Director of Education, Katie, is working with Nashville universities to help educate US audiences on the wonderful and deep-rooted culture of Haiti.


Vanderbilt University’s Latin American Studies Department focuses on discussing different cultures with new audiences to bring people together. Each year the department hosts a Haiti week, dedicated to exploring Haitian history, music, culture, literature, language, and more. Based on our experience in Haiti and 

the fundamentals of our structure and curriculum, VU considered The Joseph School a perfect fit and reached out to our Director of Education, Katie.

Vanderbilt was interested in creating a unit study (multiple lessons with different learning experiences) centered around the book “Freedom Soup,” which would introduce Haiti and its culture to young US readers. “Freedom Soup” is a children’s book that tells the story of a young girl learning how to make a traditional Haitian soup from her Ti Gran on new year’s eve. 

Katie has been developing a unit study that will help to create a fuller perspective of Haitian culture, for children in the Nashville area; and in turn bring new experiences to our TJS students. Her goal is to adapt the lessons into Creole and provide a copy of “Freedom Soup” for each of our TJS classrooms. With this approach, our students in Haiti and students in the US can share the experience together.

We are so grateful for the opportunity to share more about Haiti and its vibrant culture with new audiences. We are also looking forward to continuing outreach with Vanderbilt, and opening the door for partnering with other universities in the Nashville area and beyond!

If you would like progress update on the Creole Freedom Soup development or would like to provide a special gift for printing and publication in Haiti, please contact Katie Martin, Director of Education at

Our Teachers, Our Leaders

The Joseph School is dedicated to cultivating the next generation of leaders for Haiti, but we wouldn’t be able to do it without our incredible teachers. During this Teacher Appreciation Month, we want to highlight some of the incredible people who help make TJS a special place.

Some of our teachers travel long distances to be a part of the TJS family. Our principal, Rose, commutes from Port-au-Prince, almost an hour away each day. The guest house on campus is always open for some of our teachers to stay in during the week to avoid long commutes, such as Frantz who travels almost three hours from Cap-Haitian.

Not only are our teachers dedicated to TJS, but we are blessed to have some of the best teachers in the country! Carlos has been an integral part of the TJS team for several years and is up for P4H’s National Teacher Award! In addition, Gracia was also nominated for the national teacher award. [should we add more details on P4H here or in the footer of the blog]

Garcia – top; Carlo- bottom right; Both cheering, bottom left

Our teachers are always looking for ways to help their students and be the best they can be. Edrice is the leader of several online groups with teachers across Haiti and the U.S. In these groups he facilitates discussions on best practices and shares articles that benefit teachers far and wide.

The summer is a busy time for our teachers; the entire team attends conferences and seminars to brush up on old skills and learn new ones. Also during the summer, Estagonia volunteers to tutor students who need extra help moving into the next grade level.

We are so blessed to have every one of our 23 teachers. From visiting student homes for check-ins, to working in teams of two for each grade level, we truly have the best group of teachers there is! Our donors are a key part of helping us keep quality teachers and a strong educational team.  If you would like to sponsor a teacher or donate to TJS please click here.