We work at the grassroots level throughout the Muslim World to counter violent extremism before it takes hold, to promote tolerance and understanding, and to foster better relations with the United States.
AUA Director Ben Orbach penned this piece for the New Global Citizen magazine this week on the 2013 School-2-School experience in Indonesia and Bangladesh. And to support next year’s School-2-School partnerships, follow this link to donate through the Global Giving campaign. Donations made today are matched by 15% through the campaign. Follow this link to donate.
School started this week, and Hannah D’Apice and Sam Schindler returned to their classrooms in Dallas, Texas and Lancaster, Pennsylvania. At some point, they’ll look at their students and ask themselves, “How in the world do I explain what I did over the summer?”
Hannah is a 6th grade teacher at T.W. Browne Middle School, and Sam is a high school teacher at Lancaster Country Day School. Through Creative Learning’s School-2-School program, they served as unofficial ambassadors to the Muslim World this summer. While they taught and dispelled stereotypes, they also learned more than they ever could have imagined.
Creative Learning has been running School-2-School for almost a decade. The program brings together an American school with a school in a developing country for a virtual exchange. At the same time, the American school raises money for needed school supplies like books or computers. In 2012, we incorporated an “unofficial ambassador” component to the program where the lead educator from an American school travels to a partner school to volunteer for 2-4 weeks. That first year, Brittney Scott, a middle school teacher in Colorado Springs traveled to Jordan and trained her counterparts at a school comprised mostly of refugees to use the electronic white board that she and her students raised the funds to purchase.