April Update

We’ve been so busy over the past few months that I’ve not taken the time to post an update on The Growing Peace Project.  Here are some highlights:

Our students continue to make personal connections through pen pal letters to each other.  Each student from one school is matched with a student from the other.  They communicate through regularly-scheduled letter writing, where they have been learning about each others’ lives, schools, and communities.  In this way they’re gaining an appreciation for how their respective communities inform their views and perspectives, and learning to break down stereotypes through greater insights into the whole of their pen pals’ lives.  These interactions have been enhanced through their work in creating an online photo story, videotaping a school tour, whole-class Skype video calls, and personal reflections.

Following videotaping of their community issues projects, the students formed small-group discussion forums via Moodle to address those issues.  Together they generated five broad categories with subgroups – bullying (online, school, community), environment (littering, air pollution, deforestation, recycling), economy (losing jobs, homelessness, hunger, poverty), substance abuse (drugs, alcohol, smoking), and vandalism.  These small groups meet online regularly to discuss the issues and how they impact their respective communities.  It’s been an exciting and dynamic forum!

We are about to embark on the next school phase, where the students will begin to create action projects they can implement.  After all of the thinking and talking they’ve been doing they are more than ready to realize their ideas into actions that will serve their communities.  I can’t wait to see what they come up with…

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