RCSD District 4th Graders Speak live with Students in Ghana -- Part of the Fourth Grade Speakers Series
The Fourth Grade Speakers Series is designed to provide community role models for Riverhead students and to encourage fourth graders to "never give up" on their dreams and hopes for the future.
In its second year, the program held an exciting kick-off event: a live conversation with students in Ghana. The exchange was coordinated by O'ia-da, a non-profit organization (www.oiadaintl.org) that for the past 13 years has been dedicated to providing educational programs and services that encourage the appreciation of African and African American cultures and history in Ghana and the US. According to its website, "The primary goal of O'ia-da is to increase student test scores, decrease drop-out rates and to reduce the achievement gap of schools."
To achieve this goal, they utilize videoconferencing technology to connect students in the US with students in Africa. Through "LIVE" face-to-face educational and cultural exchanges, students engage in global learning. This type of exchange is a resource to teachers who are interested in accelerated learning methods, global and experiential learning.
Two things seem to happen during their programs: (1) the African-American students increase in self-esteem and (2) there is a change in the perception that students of different ethnicities have of Africans and their African-American peers.
Students often have stereotypes about Africa and Africans. After this lively LIVE exchange, students are often amazed at how much they have in common with these Ghanaian students. African American students especially shared the pride they now feel because of what they learned through the "live" experience.
And they all learned that Joe Biden is the VP.
Photo Caption: Students from each of the District's schools took turns asking questions of the students from Ghana and responding to questions the Ghanaian students asked of them.
Source: Riverhead Central School District Press Release