Making connections with various people to discover our similarities is so important in today’s world. Finding commonalities instead of differences helps build empathy in our society which then fosters an understanding and caring perspective towards others. Christ Church Day School students are engaged in a program that provides them with a global platform to interact with others and find those similarities.
Through the Mystery Skype educational game, students in Celeste Caso’s Fifth Grade Class skype with a class from a different state or country. Through a series of yes or no questions based on geography, the students discover where the other class lives. From there, they share information about themselves and each other’s communities.
Most recently, the class interacted with a class from Argentina and discovered where this school was located. The students had the opportunity to ask additional questions and learn more about their new friends. To extend this learning opportunity even further, our students wrote postcards to the Argentinian students in Spanish. This not only helped with their Spanish acquisition, it also fostered a pen pal program that will continue through the end of the Argentinian school year.
Through Skype sessions, students are also able to connect with professionals in various fields. Two years ago, after reading the novel, A Long Walk to Water, Mrs. Caso and her students raised money to build a well in South Sudan. This well was completed last year and the students received photos of the dedication and the plaque that is on the well. Through a recent Skype connection, former and current students came together to talk with Salva Dut, founder of Water for South Sudan and the gentleman on whom the book is based. This virtual learning environment breaks down the four walls of the traditional classroom and opens students to the world, allowing people and places from afar to connect with students in a meaningful and educational way. These interactions give students another opportunity to find similarities with a person they would not easily have come in contact with.
Making connections and building empathy is needed in our society, and the students at Christ Church Day School are fortunate to have these opportunities to foster character growth and expand their world view. If you have any questions about these programs or our school, please reach out to Nancy Funk, Head of School, at firstname.lastname@example.org.