by Constance Daley
American Reporter Correspondent
St. Simons Island, Ga.
April 20, 2010
THE SEVENTH SENSE
TORTI, Panama, April 19, 2010 -- Smiles and cheers were the order of the day as 35 pupils at the La Tosca Elementary School in Torti received gift bags and kindergarten furniture from 18 members of the Kiwanis Club of Panama.
Their April 17 trip to La Tosca was the third trip to the school by Kiwanians this year, and according to members, on each trip they perform an assessment of needs the children might have. Then, club members - most of them employees of the Panama Canal, swing into action to fulfill those needs and wishes of students, parents, and their lone teacher.
Three durable tables and a dozen strong chairs were delivered to the school, replacing torn folding chairs - or, in some cases, portions of a classroom lacking any table or chairs.
La Tosca is located along the PanAmerican Highway between Chepo and the Darien provincial border, and has been built and maintained with the donations of work of many Kiwanis volunteers in recent years.
They delivered bags of snacks and small gifts to the children, and a gift of softball equipment immediately got the kids into the sporting spirit. Minuteslater. an impromptu softball game got underway in the tiny schoolyard. The children laughed, cheered and jeered their friends as they took turns at bat and the infield.
Along with the local Kiwanians, two special visitors from Kiwanis International--reporter Kasey Jackson and photographer Chris Hayworth - were on hand to meet the children and record all the activities.
The visitors were also hosted by the Panama Kiwanis Club, whose members took them to Kiwanis Sports City in Clayton (Ciudad Deportiva de Kiwanis), events of the Central American Games, and the Youth NFL Kiwanis Football Jamboree.
The visitors also received special briefings on canal expansion and a tour of the Miraflores Visitors Information Center.
The Kiwanis, a service organization committed to serving children around the world, encourages former members from other countries and like-minded individuals to join in their many community efforts.