Have a Cultural Exchange: Form cross-cultural relationships with Gambian students by using Skype and email to share field trips, Show-and-Tell, and other classroom activities.  This collaboration also offers many international service-learning opportunities.  

Join us as we launch our first kindergarten class in September 2011.  Schools can gain a lot as well as do a great amount of good from this experience.  Students can have the opportunity to Skype/email with Starfish students and learn about life in another part of the world in a much richer and more personal ways.  For example, a field trip in New York State and a field trip in The Gambia would look very different.  And yet, with the click of a button, students in both places can easily dialogue about their trip to the apple farm versus their trip to the crocodile pond.  In like manner, they can compare and contrast different holidays and festivals.  Teachers can also share lesson plans online and jointly plan for cross cultural content.

Meaningful service is another attractive feature of this project.  It is one thing to donate materials to an unknown entity and quite another to have a symbiotic relationship with the people your gifts are going to.  American students can collect and send new or gently used backpacks, shoes, stationery, clothing etc to Gambian school children and immediately see and get feedback on the difference their service is making.  The Gambian students will also have the opportunity to not just see themselves as passive recipients but as collaborators whose sharing of their cultural artifacts, gifts, culture and daily living is contributing to the education of their U.S. counterparts.  Both groups then get the chance to take stock of and appreciate not just what they have to offer, but more importantly, what they have to appreciate.  Finally, teachers and students in both cultures will have to appreciate.  Finally, teachers and students in both cultures will have a chance to dispel stereotypes and cultivate friendships that will enrich their lives well beyond the classroom.

Contact us if you would like to Adopt-a-Class.

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