News from the Columbia Climate School

Global Linkages, Global Literacy: MCI Celebrates World Read Aloud Day through School-to-School Partnerships

Students at Miner Elementary School in Washington, DC Skype with students from Opoku Ware Junior High School in Kumasi, Ghana
Students at Miner Elementary School in Washington, DC Skype with students from Opoku Ware Junior High School in Kumasi, Ghana

What happens when students around the world are connected via modern technologies to share their experiences and perspectives?

The Millennium Cities Initiative is determined to find out through its exciting School-to-School partnership program, which brings together schools from the United States with schools in the Millennium Cities – underserved urban areas of sub-Saharan Africa.

While we have had a number of exchanges to date, our first real foray into the School-to-School partnership program took place on March 3, in celebration of World Read Aloud Day (WRAD). This day was organized by our partner LitWorld, which is dedicated to promoting literacy around the world.

For WRAD, we lined up two groups of students. The first group included Sidwell Friends School in Washington, DC; Arya Primary School in Kisumu, Kenya; and Ecole le Progrès in Bamako, Mali. Those students joined each other via Skype, reading aloud a few “wild adventure stories” they wrote together in serial fashion, in advance of the event. The students seemed genuinely thrilled to interact with one another and to be able to connect with a school on the other side of the world.

The second group paired fifth graders from Miner Elementary, a public school in Washington, DC, with students from Opoku Ware Junior High School in Kumasi, Ghana. Despite a power outage across much of Ghana that day, the students were able to connect briefly via Skype, make introductions and ask a few questions of one another. The students at Miner were also able to read aloud the “wild adventure story” they had written together with their DC and African counterparts and to send instant messages to the students in Kumasi. The students were hugely enthusiastic and wanted to know all about the other culture. The coordinating teacher at Miner, Ms. Dianna Hicks, said she was thrilled to have the opportunity to use this Skype session, both for the children to “learn more about their own ancestry,” and as a teaching tool to help her kids with reading and writing. “When these kids came to me, they were not writing this way,” Ms. Hicks told MCI. “I see this exercise (the joint adventure story-writing) as a catalyst to help them learn to think, as it gives them the ability to consider and build on other people’s ideas. I truly hope they remember that they communicated with their fellow students in another country to come up with a great piece of writing.” Representatives from Ericsson, MCI’s partner which, together with Zain, is currently linking 18 Kumasi schools to the Internet for this project, were present at Miner Elementary to witness this exciting event in person.

Our School-to-School partnership program was launched in a truly meaningful way – promoting literacy and universal education on a day intended to do just that, World Read Aloud Day. Several additional shared learning activities will take place this spring and into the next school year, when we launch a broader School-to-School partnership between New York City and Kumasi schools, as well as between many more Millennium City and U.S. schools. These partnerships will focus on integrating the new technologies and the Millennium Development Goals into the teaching and study of science, math, geography and literacy.

Miner Elementary School students prepare to read aloud to students in Kumasi, Ghana
Miner Elementary School students prepare to read aloud to students in Kumasi, Ghana
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hsn.bhatta
13 years ago

Wealth of all

Eradication of poverty is One of the millennium goals of UN .poverty is the absence of purchasing power of any human being on earth. Empowering people to purchase, needs a global change in our attitude towards wealth, the minimal absence of which makes a human being poor in the eyes of others.
Wealth is both public and private. Both can only be acquired either by
transfer,education,employment or[business] enterprise.Due to fragmentation of society brought in by industrialization and population growth,even democratic republics are failing to discharge their vicarious responsibility of empowering people to acquire the said properties.consumerism,to a large extent has turned the private in to a domain of greed and destruction resulting in the present global economic recession where in an ordinary person, not empowered, is made to share Or pay a debt which he has not incurred.
Technology has empowered both the private and public to achieve any thing,but the cost is unaffordable. we have food by green revolution,it cant reach the needy. we have 70% of water on earth, but we cannot provide potable water. Health care is updated and available. But only a few can afford to buy it. the millons and millions are left in unhygienic conditions. the lack of self control and social morality has lead the non- empowered and the not-so ALSO to become preys of communicable diseases.
At the root of all this is the continental instinct of conquering all others territory by inequitable means. Growth can be vertical and virtual, it need not be horizontal and real[local].true democratization as a global concept backed by the universal declaration of human rights has lead to the concept of ALL-FOR-ALL.THIS IS WELL REFLECTED IN THE the millennium development goals like education for all ,health for all ,environment for all, but these are being forced upon all by way of
summits[eg,copnhgen summit on global warming].many wheeler dealers are trying to sneak in their hidden agendas too. But we all know very well that this sort of continental
—power- brokering can harmful to futuristic human welfare. I WISH TO TAKE UP A PROJECT IN THE US AS A CITIZEN OF INDIA TO MAKE THE WORLD LEADERS TO TAKE UP THIS GOAL AS THE DECADE GOAL OF ALL THE CONTINENTS.

DR HS NAGABHUSHANA BHATTA HOD OF SANSKRIT APS EVENING COLLEGE OF ARTS AND COMMERCE NR COLONY BANGALORE 560019 hsn.bhatta@gmail.com

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