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  • Beth Adams

New Experiences, New Friends

A group of intrepid Rio Grande do Sul teachers left the warmth and sunshine of Brazil to come to Indiana. These teachers stayed for two weeks, living with Hoosier families and observing schools in order to learn more about how schools in Indiana work and get ideas to take back to their classrooms in Brazil.

What makes this program great is that Partners of the Americas on the national level is committed to strengthening ties between K-12 classrooms across hemispheres. Through education, we can create global understanding starting at an early age. So, Partners has teamed up with iEARN, an org that helps link K-12 teachers and students with other classrooms in the world to integrate more global education into their curriculum.

Although iEARN works in 130 countries and in 17 languages, they also have 20+ projects in Spanish and one in Portuguese. For an organization that only started 32 years ago, the World Economic Forum has named iEARN one of the 16 schools or institutions that are “innovation models for schools of the future.”

While the teachers were busy working on gathering educational ideas to take back to their Brazilian classrooms, they also got to experience many firsts for them: from snow to the Superbowl to new foods such as doughnuts and meatloaf. And they also introduced a bit of Brazil to the Hoosier students they met, having them try chimarrão and brigadeiros for the first time.

This is only the first half of this exchange. More teachers from Indiana will travel to Brazil in June to share educational techniques and cultural practices.

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