Global Collaboration & Lasting Friendships

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Last week I had the privilege of meeting Barbara Mink’s 3rd grade students at Miami Country Day School.  They had the book Saduko & The Thousand Cranes on their desks.  In talking to them I found that what the students learned about Japan came from the letters they recently received from their partner class in Japan, not the book.  “They have triangle pencils”, one student said. They learned this from the ones they received in a culture box that accompanied the self-portrait Side by Sides of the Japanese students.  Learning about Japan became real and important to these students because of their partners across the ocean.

Rowena Gerber, the school iEARN coordinator, connected Barbara with Kaori Hayashi more than nine years ago.  They started having classrooms exchange Side by Side art work each year.  Since Barbara and Kaori have partnered their classrooms, students have also shared personal letters, stories and poems, and have done science projects together.

Barbara says,  “It is a wonderful experience for the children and for me, too. I have become friends with Kaori and we send family photos to one another. I have seen her blossom into a beautiful young lady…through her marriage and now with two little girls. It has been a fantastic experience. One of the highlights in my 35 years of teaching!”

Do you have a story to share about friendships you have developed through global partnerships?

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