Since 2007, Smith Middle School has been awarded three grants from the European Union’s Getting to Know Europe grant competition. These monetary awards ranging from $65,000-$100,000 have provided teacher professional development, community events such as the Euro-zone, Walk of Nations for the Walk for Education, and Europe Day competitions and celebrations. The grants have also funded a unique exchange program with a middle school in Liege, Belgium where students travel abroad to stay with their pen pal’s family, attend classes at Saint-Benoit Saint-Servais and discuss global issues in French and English. Teachers accompany the group serving as knowledgeable leaders who enrich the students’ academic experience while walking the beaches of Normandy, identifying medieval architecture in Paris and investigating the critical role of the EU while attending an EU seminar in Brussels. Traditionally, students celebrate the EU’s birthday in Brussels on March 25th by video conferencing with their American peers at Smith. Teachers and students learning together “in the field” is truly authentic education utilizing an effective apprentice-expert model of instruction.
To the former students who have traveled with this exchange program, please answer the following questions: (please free free to post a video – I would love to see how old you are now!)
- Name (first + first initial of last name) age, school
- Date of trip you attended and your favorite memory
- How did this program change your world?
- How has it impacted you as you mature? personally? academically?
- Is this program important on a societal level? Why or why not?
- Anything else?
Thank you for your time and for staying in touch! 🙂