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Author Topic: World Wise School Program  (Read 2701 times)

Offline jlmanzak

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World Wise School Program
« on: November 18, 2013, 03:46:01 PM »
Has anyone had any experience with the World Wise School program? I am very interested in this program! My research proposal for my Masters involves virtual communication between myself / my host community while I am serving and a school(s) here in the US. If you participated in this program, how involved was the school you were matched with? Did they maintain the contact with you throughout your service? What did you think were the pros and cons of this program?

Offline Tish

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Re: World Wise School Program
« Reply #1 on: November 20, 2013, 12:30:56 PM »
I was partnered with a middle school social studies teacher in North Carolina.  We communicated by email and discussed how I could contribute to his classroom activities.  He had me send an introductory letter to the class explaining who I was, where I was, about Peace Corps and the work I was going to do.  He then had his classes hand-write letters with questions they wanted to ask me.  He scanned and emailed all of them to me!!!!! There were tons of them.  I grouped the questions in to categories.  I responded with essays filled with stories from my experiences to answer their questions and threw in questions for the kids related to geography and social studies.  I took photos and added them in to the stories.  I completed one essay every month or two.  We communicated during the US school year from August/September until around April/May.  It was fun and actually helped me keep a journal of activities and cultural information that I will cherish forever.  You and your World Wise School partner can make it whatever you want - the possibilities are endless.  Go for it - you will be glad you did.

Offline Branden Ryan

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Re: World Wise School Program
« Reply #2 on: November 22, 2013, 09:36:39 AM »
Jessica - Work on establishing that relationship before you leave for TZ in February! I signed up for the program (as many of us did), and I don't know of any PCVs here that are actually involved in it because, for some reason, it just doesn't seem like those relationships are fostered properly here. There doesn't seem to be much communication between the office here and the program, though I've only been here since July. I'd recommend you talk to teachers and schools in your area before you come here and firm up those commitments, just to make it easier!
Branden Ryan
PCV, Tanzania, 2013-2015

Offline jlmanzak

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Re: World Wise School Program
« Reply #3 on: November 22, 2013, 03:29:49 PM »
Branden- I already have one school here in NC who will definitely be on board. The teacher was a mentor of mine while I was teaching myself. I was really hoping to connect with at least one other school though. Maybe I'll take that on as a secondary project, to try and increase participation in TZ!

Offline mongoliAnna

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Re: World Wise School Program
« Reply #4 on: January 09, 2014, 07:04:42 PM »
I'm working to connect volunteers' classrooms here in Mongolia with classrooms in China to hopefully create peace and understanding between the two country. I'm also working on connecting VAC (Volunteer Advisory Council, a group of elected leaders in your country) leaders worldwide. If you would like to not only connect your students with American children, but also children of different countries, ask your VAC leader to connect you with the other country!

Offline koji

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Re: World Wise School Program
« Reply #5 on: January 10, 2014, 05:01:46 AM »
My WWS experience was actually rather negative. While I was connected with a great school in Arizona, and I had a great relationship with the kids at my school in Bulgaria I hadn't anticipated that they would not like each other. I assumed that kids like kids... But when they exchanged letters they exchanged facebook addresses and the Bulgarian children refused to contact the American children anymore because they were, "ugly." (Racism is rampant in Bulgaria, and the school I partnered with was highly Mexican-American.) I feel bad that I wasn't prepared to deal with that situation, and I was never able to bridge that gap between the students. I did, however, remain in contact with the Arizona school, emailing them and answering questions about Bulgaria for two years.

In the end I would say it can be a great experience, but be prepared for it to go sour as kids can be brutal to each other at times. If you prepare for that, then you will probably be able to handle it much better than I did.

Offline jlmanzak

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Re: World Wise School Program
« Reply #6 on: January 10, 2014, 06:16:41 AM »
I guess I should clarify a little bit. I'm an environmental volunteer, so I won't likely be in a classroom consistently in Tanzania. However, my Masters research is based on using virtual experiences through skype, blogging, etc to bring awareness of international agriculture issues to American high school agriculture and FFA classes. So I probably won't be setting up students with students. I'm thinking it will be more Tish's experience. Except that I also want to maybe set up parallel experiments with the classroom, for example, growing plants with American techniques and African techniques both in Tanzania and at the American high school and comparing results.