November 16, 2015, Mrs. Elzey’s eighth grade class at Independence Jr./Sr. High is participating in the People to People International (PTPI) School and Classroom Program. The PTPI School and Classroom Program pairs similar-age classrooms in different countries. Two classrooms form a partnership so students may work together on educational projects that improve their cultural understanding of one another. Projects as simple as pen pals or more complex to examine specific subjects or issues are offered in a program manual, which also provides guidance for effective communication and collaboration between classrooms.
Mrs. Elzey’s class is partnered with a 7th grade classroom in Kriovograd, Ukraine and she has been in contact with the teacher, Natalia Likhach. Independence students will write letters to the students in the Ukraine. Students will type up the letters, share them with Mrs. Elzey and she will then send them all on to the students in the Ukraine. Natalia Likhach will do the same and send letters back to our students here in Independence. In addition to letter writing, PTPI suggests other class projects related to class culture, a day in my life or recipe books.
Mrs. Elzey states, “The students are really excited about this and I see it as a way to make their writing authentic and meaningful.”