BRANSON STUDENTS GO TO DOMINICA WITH PEACE CORPS

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BRANSON STUDENTS GO TO DOMINICA WITH PEACE CORPS

Postby yrisarryviv@mac.com on Thu Oct 14, 2010 4:12 pm

Branson School Online, a statewide virtual k-12 public school, is taking some of their students to the Caribbean and they don’t need a passport. Students in Mrs. Henschel’s Social Studies class are participating in the Peace Corps World Wise Schools Program and learning all about the island of Dominica, which is part of the Caribbean Islands, through the eyes of a volunteer.

For Mrs. Henschel, the opportunity to partner with the Peace Corps Volunteer is a wonderful way to enhance what her students are learning in her online classroom.
“My volunteer, Mary, provides my students with a world view on subjects we are studying now. For example, in American History we just covered Columbus and his discoveries of ‘the new world.’ Through Mary’s work, my students have learned that Columbus was not well liked in Dominica because he treated the native population very poorly.”
As part of the curriculum, Mary put together a short presentation on their history as it related to Columbus. In my World Geography class she gave a presentation on their tropical climate.

As part of the World Wise Schools program, Peace Corps volunteers in the field exchange emails, letters, videos and tapes, photographs, and telephone calls with classrooms in the United States.

Since its inception in 1989 by then Peace Corps Director Paul D. Coverdell, World Wise Schools has helped more than 3 million U.S. students communicate directly with Peace Corps Volunteers all over the world. Educators, like Mrs. Henschel, use materials provided by the Peace Corp to teach subjects as varied as language arts, social studies, geography, environmental education, and international economics

Mary, who works at a primary and alternative secondary school in Dominica, has shared with BSO staff that the school has little or no money for supplies. Consequently, Mrs. Henschel’s students and the students in the BSO Leadership program have initiated a school supply drive for Roosevelt Douglas Primary School and CALLS Secondary School on the island of Dominica.

BSO students are collecting a wide range of items including: traditional arts and craft supplies, sports supplies, teaching aids like Hooked On Phonics, office supplies, and backpacks. Upon receipt of these items, the BSO teachers will ship them to Mary who will then distribute them as needed throughout the two schools. Her students, in turn, will send thank you letters to BSO students and staff.

Mrs. Hensel adds,
“Mary will be working in my classrooms for the next 2 years and I know that my students will come away with an enriched understanding of the world and its many diverse cultures. I think this is an extraordinary opportunity for our students to learn about the world in a meaningful way not found through books and movies.”


For more information on Branson School Online or their school supply drive, please contact Assistant Superintendent, Judith Stokes at: jstokes@bransonschoolonline.com or at 303-805-9804. Or visit website: http://www.bransonschoolonline.com.
yrisarryviv@mac.com
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