Students Make New Friends in Kenya, Explore Holiday Traditions Around the World

Target 4: Engaged Community Partners –  FWSU staff and students will collaborate, innovate, create and conceptualize ideas and learning with local, regional, state, and global partners to make a difference in their community, state, and world.

Action Step – Develop partnerships with global partners to carry out a project related to units of study.

New friends from Kenya: Jacob’s Aunt Kristen, her husband, and their unborn daughter along with their 8th grade students

As part of a Social Students Unit, Celebrating Holiday Traditions Around the World, Mrs. Breen’s second grade class hosted a Skype session with students living in Kenya, Africa.  BFA Elementary students were asked to reflect on how living in Vermont is different from living in Kenya. Students learned a lot about traditions and cultures directly from young Kenyans who have lived in Kenya their whole lives. Among the many details shared (climate, hobbies, food, sports, etc.) our students were fascinated to learn that these Kenyans speak five different languages and are fluent in English. When asked about what type of music they liked to listen to, they replied “Gospel” and graciously offered to sing a song. In return, young BFA elementary students all joined in singing “Make New Friends.”

This experience broadened students’ understanding of how cultures and traditions can be different and yet similar in many ways. This unique global learning opportunity will have a lasting, positive impact on students these young second-graders at BFA.

Special thanks to Jacob Antonovich and his mom, Katrina for enabling BFA students to connect with Katrina’s sister and husband who are doing missionary work in Kenya. 

Contributing and Participating from BFA:  Mrs. Boutin, Mrs. Breen, Mrs. Cassidy, Mrs. Haddock, Mrs. Heller, and Mrs Schraven, Joy Mercer (school librarian), Mrs. Siemons (technology integration specialist), Mr. Smith (network manager), 120 students, Katrina Antonovich (mother of Jacob and sister of Kristen), support staff, and Tom Walsh (principal)

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