Kelly Kruzel and her fifth-grade students at Kate Walter Barrett Elementary School in Stafford County are participating in a video pen pal project with students from across the globe.
Her students visit weekly with students at the Green Valley Child Care Primary School in Uganda.
“We started meeting with Teacher Ronnie, Tugavune Ronnie Wilson, once-a-week for an hour on Fridays,” said Kruzel. “The first time they talked to us, it was the first time many had seen a computer open. They were completely shocked and wouldn’t talk to me or answer our kids at first.”
“The second time we met was over spring break, so it was just with me and not the class. We had a two hour Meet where they sat and asked me whatever they wanted to ask,” Kruzel continued. “They asked me if our trees lose leaves in the wintertime. It just happened to be winter at that time, so I took them outside and showed them our trees.”
The students have learned that classrooms and learning in Uganda is similar and different in many ways. https://youtu.be/NwQMK-xR-E0.
“We learned things like they have to walk to get water, their classroom has no air conditioning and no floors, the whole classroom was very basic,” said Bronx Behrens, a student in Kruzel’s class. “We learned that they like sports and take end of year exams just like us.”
“When we found that they take end of year exams, we put together a box of treat bags and pencils and wrote letters and encouraging notes telling them how amazing they are,” said Zoey Borges Vazquez, also a student in Ms. Kruzel’s class. “We also sent them the game Uno.”
The small gesture made a lasting impact on the Ugandan students according to Kruzel.
“There wasn’t a lot of monetary value to the items we sent, but they made such a tremendous impact on the Ugandan students,” she said. “They took the letters home and read them to their families. It has become exciting for them to learn English. They are practicing with their parents so they can engage more with our students.”
Source link : https://potomaclocal.com/2021/05/23/5th-graders-connect-with-pen-pals-in-uganda/
Publish date : 2021-05-23 13:19:20