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.
By Andi Webb, K-5 Instructional Coach, Alderman Road Elementary School
Today’s Skype session was really interesting. Our fifth grade class Skyped with Sukma Bangsa’s 10-12 year old English class so, for the first time our two groups of students were the same age. We also met their English teacher, Marty. (Sadly Victor couldn’t join us because he had a meeting). And despite some technical challenges, we really learned a lot! Again the students shared their favorite foods and the Indonesian class reiterated that they like to eat chicken and rice. One of our students shared that her favorite food is bacon, and we learned that for our friends in Indonesia pork is prohibited.
We also talked about our schools and we found a few interesting similarities! For example, the Sukma Bangsa school sends out reports twice a semester, as do we. They also grade on a 0-100 point scale, as do we! We shared that our school building was built between 1999 and 2000. Our friends informed us that their school was built in 2006 after the tsunami. We were grateful to them for sharing a bit about the tsunami with us, an event my students can’t even imagine. We were interested and humbled by what they told us. They shared that over 200,000 lives were lost during that time, but eventually they have learned to move on. We were impressed with our new friends’ resiliency. It truly speaks volumes to their character.
Each week my classes and I are learning more and more from our friends in Indonesia. We are consistently amazed and impressed by what they have to teach us and I feel so lucky to be a part of this incredible exchange.