Addison County helps support African school
ADDISON COUNTY — From the start, Addison County has played an integral role in supporting the Trinity Yard School, a school in Ghana founded by Addison County native Rory Jackson.
Numerous Addison County volunteers have lent a hand in the town of Cape Three Points in the West African country of Ghana. Numerous local libraries have donated books to Trinity Yard’s library. Gailer School Director Lonny Edwards has taken students from his Middlebury school to learn and teach at their Ghanaian counterpart. And last year, Martin’s Hardware helped facilitate the shipping from Bristol, Vt., to Cape Three Points a container full of books, clothes, bikes and a school bus bought at Junction Auto in New Haven.
For the past two years Devon MacLeod and Bonnie Melnick, teachers at Lincoln Community School, have also spent their summers teaching at Trinity Yard. The list of Vermonters and county residents who have pitched in to help sustain the school is almost countless, Jackson said.
“There’s a lot of people around here that have supported (the school) and without their help it wouldn’t have gotten off the ground at all,” said Jackson, who is currently on a home stay in Lincoln. “That’s one of the things that I love about being in Vermont and especially in this community is that the majority of people have a genuine heart and care about humanity.”
Jackson has inspired others, too. He introduced Ruth Polishuk, the founder of Lincoln nonprofit ECHO Ghana, to the country and the idea that one person could make a huge difference there. The goal of Polishuk’s organization is to foster exchange opportunities for teachers, artists and health care professionals from both the U.S. and Ghana.
Now, after years spent living mainly in Ghana, Jackson has returned to Addison County — along with his two sons Judahlion, 5, and Jahlani, 3, and his wife, Rita Agyemang, a native of the Ghanaian city of Accra. They plan to live in Lincoln for a couple years. While in the U.S., Jackson’s sister Justine and her boyfriend, Ned Castle, will head the school in Ghana.
Judahlion will attend classes at Lincoln Community School, Agyemang will make beaded and metal jewelry and Jackson will paint, offer art instruction and run the Trinity Yard School from abroad.
Above all else, said Jackson, they’ll create a new home for themselves in the deep-hearted community of Addison County.