As part of Kid Power's Citizenship Project program, which is a multifaceted approach to civics education, Kid Power students from the Latin American Bilingual Montessori Public Charter School (LAMB) hosted international volunteers from World Learning’s Global Undergraduate Exchange Program. The international college students and LAMB elementary students participated in cultural exploration activities during two after-school sessions in March and April. The university students hailed from different countries in Southeast Asia, Central America and South America. The rare exchange was a truly wonderful experience for all participants.
In preparation for World Learning’s visit Kid Power students completed country reports and compiled a list of important facts detailing each volunteer's home nation. This academic lessons helped provide Kid Power youth a foundation for understanding the geography and culture of each country. The real education, however, occurred when students were afforded the face-to-face exchanges with university students from each country.
Sitting together in a circle, both groups of students discussed some of the best things of their cultures: food, language, national holidays. They even explored some more personal issues- their families, a day in the life, school life- and in the process they dispelled stereotypes and humanized each other. It was a terrific exercise in developing a sense of diversity and compassion for others. World Learning students also loved getting a taste of an American school and were intrigued by the set-up of the Montessori classroom.
The visit and exchange proved to be a memorable experience and the perfect reminder of how each person is a global citizen. World Learning students were generous and offered many tokens of peace during the visit. LAMB students continue to cherish their friendship bracelets from Guatemala and elephant key chains from Thailand as they bring them to school day after day!