A Partnership is Born

The Dwankhozi Community School connection with Queen Anne Elementary (QAE) here in Seattle began as seeds of conversation earlier this year.  The questions we asked were how could we partner with one another to create sister schools across the globe; how could we broaden our worldview, explore our interconnectedness and build a global community of teachers and students?

This week some of the answers to those questions have begun to take shape in more tangible ways than ever.  Moses Masala, the Dwankhozi Hope (DH) Country Project Manager spent this past week in Seattle meeting with many of those who have supported our work.  This was his first trip to the US and it was certainly a memorable one.

Our first stop was Queen Anne Elementary.  We spent the afternoon talking with teachers and students who have been introduced to the community of Dwankhozi through video of the school and students in Zambia.  The students were full of questions as well as excitement about what this partnership might mean for them and their school.

Video:  Conversation with Moses

The 5thgrade class sat with rapt attention around Moses, as he sat in a rocking chair answering questions about Zambia.  Their questions were insightful and their interest was genuine. “What about kids with dyslexia?”  “What type of subjects do they study?”  How long is their school day?”  With their teacher Mr. Bailey-Fogarty leading the discussion, they explored ideas of how they could build relationship and have influence on each other’s experiences of the world.  Ideas came forward enthusiastically; they could meet each other via Skype, teach each other their favorite games, make friendship bracelets.  The excitement in the room was palpable – it gave me chills.

                 

The 4th grade class had already begun a letter-writing program with Dwankhozi; so on this visit Moses was able to deliver the response letters that the students of Dwankhozi had written.  He also brought artwork that the 1st graders in Zambia had drawn for the students here in Seattle.  The students loved receiving their letters – studying each one as they were presented.

                                     

The Kindergarten students are studying Zambia as part of their project base-learning curriculum.  In a specific program they called ‘All About Me’ – they will be learning how we are all alike and different.  They were so excited to receive their artwork from their Zambian friends and they all created their own drawings to send back to the DH students with Moses.

                          

We ended our time at the school meeting with the Kindergarten teachers, Ms Cryan-Leary, Ms Marks and Ms Yokoyama, and the Principal, Mr. Dave Elliott.  The meeting was chock-full of ideas – there is so much amazing potential with this connection.  The excitement is infectious and overwhelming.  There are a lot of possibilities on the table right now as far as how best to continue developing this dynamic partnership and we will be sure to continue to share the details as they solidify.  Our hope right now is to organize a trip to Zambia this summer with this extraordinary group of teachers so we may introduce them to our friends at Dwankhozi and continue to explore this journey together.  More to come!

 

Comments

  1. Hello – it’s the fifth graders from Queen Anne Elementary. We saw this blog post and just had to say hello. We’re excited to share our ideas with you. We really want to send you video and instructions about how to play “Hoy Ball,” a game we play at our school. We’re looking forward to learning from you, too.

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