Susan Dana, a Spanish teacher at Cape Elizabeth Middle School, in Maine, USA, and Ana Rodriguez, a fourth-grade teacher in Pan de Azucar, a small town in Uruguay, are current participants in a cultural exchange program for teachers, an initiative funded by the US State Department’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs.
Rodriguez will spend two weeks in Cape Elizabeth in February and Dana will spend two weeks in Uruguay in July. On her trip to Maine, Rodriguez will visit classrooms, the local board of education, and world languages specialists in the legislature.
Rodriguez and Dana will use Flat Stanley, a character from a popular children’s book, for a collaborative Internet project which will help students from both countries connect with each other even after the visits are over.
According to the Flat Stanley Project, students will use a blog space to post pictures, interact with each other via Skype, and see how a birthday celebration in Uruguay is different from that in Maine.
Thus, Uruguayan children will be able to interact with the outside world without leaving home. It will expand their perspectives, their knowledge about other cultures, and make them well-informed and curious. Ultimately, this exchange program aims to create a long-term connection between school children of Uruguay and the USA.
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