For the past five years, I’ve looked for ways to enrich my experience as a Math teacher at Dr. Pillai Global Academy (DPGA) in Mumbai, India. DPGA prides itself on being a “maximum opportunity” learning environment school, designed to impart education that empowers children to pursue a globally challenging career. The focus is on activity-oriented teaching and beyond-the-classroom methods. That’s why Level Up Village was perfect for us.
As this school year came to a close, I couldn’t help but be filled with joy at the positive experiences my students and I shared. Yes, they improved their writing skills, read wonderful books, conducted research, delivered presentations, took standardized tests, and all of the rest. And yes, all of that is worth celebrating. But what stood out the most, by far, were the moments that happened during our second Global Conversations literature course with The Anderson School in Gweru, Zimbabwe.
Thursday, June 1, started out as a typical day at Eastern Middle School. Students intently staring at iPhone screens before the bell; lots of wonderful books in hands throughout the day; kids tapping away on Chromebooks in well-lit and air conditioned classrooms. But then something extra special and different happened during the last period of the day. We were fortunate to have two visitors from Kenya Connect come to talk with a group of 32 students who are participating in their second Level Up Village global collaboration course this year, this time with students in Africa.
Connecting with partners in developing countries is often an eye-opening and impactful experience for U.S. students, but what is it like for their global partners on the other end of the collaboration? Four students from rural Kenya wrote to us about their daily experiences with electricity, water, life at school, and how they have been inspired by their Level Up Village courses at Kenya Connect.