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