In August 2015 we launched our first seven classroom pairings among four public schools.
The classrooms will spend a semester recording and sharing videos with each other about their lives, cultures, goals, and passions. Students will connect with their peers in another country, who fluently speak the language they are learning. They will share their stories and develop the confidence, connections, and communication skills it takes to become emerging global leaders. Check out a little about each school below.
EL INSTITUTO URRACÁ
The Instituto Urracá is a public high school in Santiago, the capital of the Veraguas region of Panamá. Juan Aizprùa, a seasoned English teacher from the institute, recently returned from two months of teacher training in the United States with Panama Bilingüe, a national initiative launched by president Juan Carlos Varela. The students at Instituto Urracá are excited to get to know students their age in the Maryland.
LOPEZ ISLAND HIGH SCHOOL
WASHINGTON STATE, USA
Lopez Island is situated in the Northwestern most part of the United States in the San Juan archipelago, and is home to 2,000 residents. In addition to in-class language learning at Lopez Island High School, the Spanish club takes a biannual trip to Nicaragua where they work on a volunteer project with the local community. The students at Lopez, supported by their teacher Isaac Berg, look forward to sharing what life is like on their small island, and learning about the lives of Panamanian students who hope to become teachers.
LA PLATA HIGH SCHOOL
La Plata High School is a public high school in La Plata, Maryland, a small town not too far from the capitol of the United States, Washington DC. La Plata High Schools has a student body of nearly 1,500 students. Spanish teacher Jennifer Mikula is a returned Peace Corps who served in the Veraguas region of Panamá where Urracá is located. She's excited to help her students share their stories with young people in Veraguas.
ESCUELA NORMAL JUAN DEMÓSTENES AROSEMENA
La Escuela Normal is Panama's premier teacher's college and secondary school located in Santiago, Panamá. It is an educational hub that attracts many students from remote areas of Panamá who come to live and learn at the school. Normal hosts the nation's first bilingual pedagogy institute and is leading the way for the country's bilingual education initiative. Profesora Maria Gonzalez, who previously taught Spanish in North Carolina, and her students are excited to connect with high schoolers on Lopez Island.