Recently my 7th grade history teacher approached me about making connections with students around the globe. She wanted students to have global pen pals for an authentic interaction. I immediately started working on the project and began researching possible partners.
Many of the Google searches I created led me to results that may or not be someone pretending to be a global student! Needless to say, I did not want to put our students in harm’s way.
I thought of reputable organizations and soon began researching the George W. Bush Presidential Library. They have a Women’s Initiative program that aims to empower women and children in countries where women do not have as many rights as they do in the United States.
I reached out to the Bush Library and arranged a meeting where we were connected with one of the Women’s Initiative Fellows, Farah. Farah works as a librarian in Tunisia! Working with Farah we were able to communicate with Tunisian students when they were in Farah’s library! Additionally, Farah visited 7th grade history classrooms when she was in the United States as part of her Fellowship program.
These experiences were exceptional, authentic global experiences for our students. The Bush Library has tremendously high standards, so I knew that we were in good, reputable hands. Additionally, all of the educational opportunities were free for our students! Finally, I now have a global library friend all the way across the globe!
Partnering with an area library was a wonderful experience, and I hope to continue to build quality programs with area academic, public and special libraries.