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US Groups Working to Help Earthquake Victims in Haiti


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Welcome to AMERICAN MOSAIC in VOA Special English. I'm Doug Johnson.

Help for Haiti

The International Red Cross, MercyCorps and Doctors without Borders are big aid organizations helping the people of Haiti after the earthquake last month.

In the United States, many people are also giving their time and energy to collect money and goods for the earthquake victims. Faith Lapidus tells about some of these projects.

At Jordan Catholic School in Rock Island, Illinois, students set up a money supply for Haiti. The money came mostly from the weekly pay the children get from their parents for good behavior or work around the house. Some children who do not get such allowances found money from other sources. For example, some sixth graders made and sold jewelry.

Sandy Carlsten is the assistant principal at the school. Ms. Carlsten set up a big glass container in the front office of the school. She sent letters asking the children to donate what they could.

Ms. Carlsten says the children loved to watch the big glass jar fill up quickly. She found an envelope in the jar with the message: "I hope this money will help you and your family in these rough times."

Sandy Carlsten says the children raised more than one thousand four hundred fifty dollars. They are giving it to Catholic Relief Services to help the people of Haiti. She says sharing and caring for others is a big part of Catholic school education.

Even victims who were not seriously hurt in the earthquake January twelfth are in need of the most basic supplies. College students in Sierra Vista, Arizona are trying to help meet those needs. The Cochise College Social Concerns Club has organized a campaign to collect simple medical care equipment and personal cleanliness supplies.

In Virginia, employees of the Alexandria Sheriff's Office donated seven thousand dollars to help school children in Haiti. Harry Covert is the spokesman for the sheriff's office. He is also a leader of a humanitarian aid organization that has been supporting a school in Haiti for years. The school was destroyed in the earthquake but all one hundred fifty students survived.

Super Bowl

Last week we answered a listener question about Americans' favorite winter sport to watch. Experts say American professional football is most popular. Sunday is the most important day for football fans. The National Football League holds its championship game.

The New Orleans Saints from Louisiana will play the Indianapolis Colts from Indiana in Super Bowl Forty-Four. They will play at Sun Life Stadium in Miami Gardens, Florida. This is the home stadium of the Miami Dolphins.

Gregg Easterbrook writes a weekly piece called "Tuesday Morning Quarterback" for E.S.P.N.com. He expects this Super Bowl to be an especially exciting one. He notes the very different styles of the competing teams. He writes that the Colts are very careful, well organized and predictable players. But, New Orleans, he writes, is like "watching an outdoor cocktail party play football." The team is wild, fun and loves to use trick plays.

The Super Bowl is historic for the New Orleans Saints. The team was established in nineteen sixty-seven. But it has never made it to the championship game until now. It has come close several times. In two thousand six, the year after Hurricane Katrina, the Saints returned to play at the repaired Superdome in New Orleans. The team performed well all season and came within one game of Super Bowl competition. This year, Saints fans are especially excited to see their team playing in the Super Bowl. Their city is still recovering from the hurricane.

The Indianapolis Colts have a longer history than the Saints. The team was officially established in nineteen fifty-three as the Baltimore Colts. The Colts left Baltimore for Indianapolis in nineteen eighty-four. The Indianapolis Colts have been to one Super Bowl since then, in two thousand seven. The Colts defeated the Chicago Bears for the N.F.L. championship.

On Sunday, millions of people in the United States and several other countries will watch the big game with friends and family. They will watch a half-time performance by the British rock band the Who. And they will enjoy the funny advertisements that are always broadcast during the Super Bowl. It is one of the biggest nights for American television. Last year, about one hundred million people in the United States watched the Super Bowl.

Harry Covert says the key to re-building the school, and all of Haiti, is to make sure the work is done right. He says he was shocked by the way poor people in Port-au-Prince lived when he first visited in nineteen eighty-one. In two later trips he saw no improvement. Now, he says, people must not permit Haiti's poorest citizens to return to the terrible conditions that existed even before the earthquake.

Grammy Awards

Every year, members of the Recording Academy choose their favorite songs, albums and musicians to receive Grammy Awards. The academy held its Grammy Awards ceremony last Sunday in Los Angeles, California. Shirley Griffith plays music from some of the winners.

SHIRLEY GRIFFTH:

Singer Beyonce had a huge night at the Grammy Awards. She won six, a record for a female performer. Three of the awards were for this hit song, "Single Ladies (Put A Ring On It)."

Country singer Taylor Swift also had a big night. She received her first Grammy and three more, including the Album of the Year award. Here she performs, "White Horse," from the album, "Fearless." Swift won the Grammy for best country vocal performance for the song.

During the past year, AMERICAN MOSAIC has played music from many of the performers who won Grammys Sunday night. They include the band Kings of Leon and musician Bela Fleck, performers Lady Gaga and Lady Antebellum. But here is one we did not play. The French band Phoenix won a Grammy for Best Alternative Music Album. Here is the song, "1901" from the album "Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix."

More than one hundred Grammy Awards are presented every year. There are awards for all kinds of music and spoken word recordings. We leave you with singer Renee Fleming. She won the Grammy for Best Classical Vocal Performance for the album, "Verismo." Here she performs, "Flammen, Perdonami" from Pietro Mascagni's opera, "Lodoletta."

I'm Doug Johnson. Our program was written and produced by Caty Weaver.


"American Mosaic" in VOA Special English
www.manythings.org/voa/america

Source: US Groups Working to Aid Quake Victims in Haiti
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