Sunday, December 5, 2010

World Wise Schools: South Africa meet Cloverport, KY

Wow! What a busy, busy week: World Wise schools (letter exchange with American school), World AIDS Day, Parent’s Day, Crèche Graduation (South African Day Care—I’ll post some pictures from this too, the little bitty ones in their caps and gowns are TOO CUTE!). And, I was supposed to go to a wedding today (Sunday), but I couldn’t find it. (Will blog about my “lost in the village trying to find a wedding soon.)

We were so busy this week that I hadn’t time for laundry or grocery shopping, so I was grimy and STARVING all week. ;-)

When I asked an educator why there was so much “fun” during the last two weeks of school (and not scattered about throughout the school year, she replied, “We’re all business during the school year in trying to get all our work done. The last two weeks are for parties!”

YAY for delayed gratification! ;-)

While I had a BLAST all week, I think my favorite day was Tuesday, when I took letters and drawings from American kindergartners to the Grade R learners (the South African equivalent of kindergarten). Peace Corps hosts a program called World Wise Schools and I’m posting a blurb from Peace Corps’ website that tells a bit about the program:

“World Wise Schools matches up Peace Corps Volunteers in the field with U.S. classroom teachers. The result? A vibrant two-year exchange of ideas, stories, pictures, and artifacts that helps U.S. students in the classroom learn about the people, geography, environment, and culture of the world from the direct experience of Volunteers living in other countries.” (

Back in October or November, I contacted teachers of a primary school in Cloverport, KY, and asked if any of the teachers would be interested in participating in the program by instigating a letter exchange. While I had high hopes of having all grades participating, I was grateful for any teacher in the States to participate. (My school in Africa has 8 grades: Grade R-Grade 7 and I was hoping to match Grade R with a school in America, Grade 1 with a school in America, etc. In fact, if there are any teachers in America reading, if you have a class and would like to participate, I feel certain I could find a grade level and school to match and would LOVE to have as many South African learners exposed to American students!!)

It’s a tough sell, because on both schools and teachers’ parts, I’m asking them to do a bit of extra work. But BOY is it worth it!

I wish you could have seen how excited my South African pre-schoolers were to get the letter, photo, and drawings from pre-schoolers in America, and hopefully the photos will somewhat represent this. I was able to talk a bit about Cloverport, KY, and about how children go to school in America. Our South African learners have been busy readying a response packet with letters and photos for the pre-schoolers in Cloverport.

A special thanks to Mam Shirley in South Africa and Mam Amanda in the States! What a wonderful, wonderful experience!!


1 comment:

  1. absolutely beautiful! i love the letter and the pictures radiate excitement and joy. of course we're all getting christmassy over here so the children's faces make me feel even more in the spirit.
    i love the frame with the little boy clowning "taking a picture with a digital camera"--terrific!!