Macedonian Schools Seeking Dream Flag Partner Schools for Dream and Friendship Exchange
Published on Sep 06 2015
How would you like to give your students the chance to learn more about themselves and others through a year-long virtual class-to-class exchange that starts with something as simple as your favorite foods and ends with sharing dreams -- and Dream Flags?
The U.S State Department in Macedonia is offering this opportunity to three Dream Flag schools this year as participants in their Dream and Friendship Exchange that was piloted last year and is being expended this year to include three schools in rural Macedonia. The pilot year was very successful in achieving two key objectives:
1) Developing increased student appreciation of differences among their peers.
2) Increasing English languge skills.
The culminating event in Macedonia was a Dream Falg Celebratino that the US Ambassador to Macedonia attended along with many others from the local community.
Here is their fun year-end wrap up video. (4 /12 min.)
You can read much more about it in the wonderful blog that their teaching fellow created last year.
If this seems like a good fit for your class this year, here's what you need to know:
Each Macedonian group will be about 25-30 students who are farily proficient in English as a second language. They will be both boys and girls who have elected to be in the program. Age range for the Madedonian studnets will be 9-12. (USA counterparts do not have to be the same age exactly. We recommend grade 4 and up.)
Students will be from state schools in Bistrica, Tetevo, and Shtip. These are relatively rural areas. Meetings of the Macedonian participants are planned at twice weekly in a local facility called the American Corner, a sort of mini public library and community facility. Each will have a computer lab and reliable Internet connection.
The project is funded by the US State Department in Macedonia. It will support a lead teacher at each Macedonian site and provide additional support from Peace Corps volunteers and Fullbright English Language Assistants. Last year, the Fullbright Assistant took on work on the blog.
Time Commitment and Coordination
October - May monthly Skype session with your group and the Macedonian group. This is the only required time commitment but working with your class on exchange related activities both before and after the session will enhance the benefit. (See below for general topic sequence.)
Macedonian class meetings will be held after their school day, sometime between 4 and 8 pm in their time zone. This translates into between 10 am and 2 pm Eastern Time and between 7 and 11 am Pacific Time. (Macedonia is 6 hrs. ahead of Eastern Time and follows Daylight Savings Time.) Each sesson will be arranges by you and the lead teacher for your group in Macedonia. They expect to have some time flexibility on their end as it's an afterschool program and students live in walking distance.
Each month has a designated topic for student sharing along with Lagnston Hughes poem(s) that complement the topic. Specific class activities can be arranged by you and your lead teacher in Macedonia. The activities from last year's project will be available and are, some degree, documented on the 2014-15 blog .
OCT: All About Me (possible poems include I, Too, Youth, Quiet Girl)
NOV: My School (possible poems include Theme for English B)
DEC: My Family (possible poems include Mother to Son, Auntie Sue’s Lullaby)
JAN: My Community (possible poems include My People, Harlem, Daybreak in Alabama)
FEB: My Culture (possible poems include Drums, Dream Variations, Danse Africaine)
MAR: My Language (possible poems include Homesick Blues)
APR: My Rights (possible poems include Words like Freedom, Still Here)
MAY: My Dreams (possible poems include I Dream a World)
IF YOU ARE INTERESTED IN PARTICIPAING THIS YEAR
Please send an email to Jeff Harlan Jharlan@dreamflags.org as soon as possible and not later than Sept 25. Please include your name and the name of your school or group.
In your email, briefly describe:
--grade level. subject(s), and number of your students
--how you feel this will benefit them and how it connects with what you are already doing if applicable
--technology and technology support that is available to you
While we can only offer this collaboration to three groups this year, we encourage any group interested to be in touch and will work to find other ways to connect--both this year and in years to come. We consider it an invaluable part of connecting our students to their dreams and their dreams to the world.