Building Bridges: Connecting Children and Culture

Building Bridges In Passaic County, Maple Road Elementary School teachers Paul Gorski, Debra Redding, and Kristen Rosimini will help their third-grade students appreciate cultural diversity and explore their own cultural heritage through a  $2,470 grant from the NJEA Frederick L. Hipp Foundation for Excellence in Education.

Building Bridges: Connecting Children and Culture begins in November. Students role play the immigrant experience to give them a greater understanding of the hardships and injustices that the immigrant population had to endure. Then they explore their own cultural heritage by interviewing family members and conducting research about their heritage country.

Using a subscription to iEARN (International Education and Resource Network), students reach out to children from other countries through podcasts and wikis. Through this communication, students connect with their contemporaries around the world, comparing their cultures to that of their pen pals in other countries.

All activities culminate in Culture Day, which is a school-wide cultural celebration that includes ethnic foods prepared by parents. The third-grade students man cultural display booths where they demonstrate dances, games, and songs they have learned to all first- through sixth-grade students. Culture Day recipes are published in a full-color, hard-bound book for Student Treasures Nationwide Learning. Proceeds from the sale of the book are donated to the Pennies for Peace project to establish schools in Afghanistan.

For Further Information, contact:

Paul Gorski
School – (973) 697-3606