I think we don’t need to spend money at all to get a good start on exposing students to what it means to have global awareness! Global awareness is literally what it says, to be aware of the world and events in it, but it’s also so much more than that. In order to be a good global citizen, you need to have global awareness. To be globally aware is much too rare, all students should understand and not just know whats going on in the world because of what's on TV or online. We should be able to hear from people in these global situations we read about, but how? Well, some things are as simple as it seems. Write a letter, I used to sponsor a girl in Palestine and we would write back and forth, which gave me a whole new idea of her culture, which wasn’t at all what I thought it was. Before we go into actual action, I think we should simply educate us, students. To write to a girl in Syria to see what she's going through it rather worthless if you’ve never heard of Syria. I believe our school, and maybe eventually all schools, should educate us more culturally. This may be as simple as posters around the school or once a month taking away a flex time to learn about a specific country or place and its culture. After that maybe we could do some time of letter exchange with people in other countries. I don’t think we take advantage though of our diverse AOA community. We have kids from so many different countries and most of us students couldn’t tell you the first thing about what their countries are like, so ask them to speak! If many of us express lots of cultural interest than maybe we can begin to take trips or bring students from that area to us! My next idea would be to partner with a church or organization where students could be offered missions trips.
More than any of this though, I think we should first take the step to take advantage of what we have literally right in front of our faces. Students from several different countries I’m sure would love to step up and just share their daily life. I decided that I would take it upon myself to ask students about foods and sports in their cultures and they very opened it to me. I’m sure if we simply asked them to share their culture and have a student in each homeroom talk about where they are from, they would. I’m very close with a boy from Rwanda and I’ve learned so much about his culture, like the genocide in the 1990’s and that they have walls around their property and they have many open fields where kids enjoy soccer in the heat. I also am close with two girls from Ukraine, they made me Ukrainian cheese, it was so good, and they stayed with me for Christmas which is a great opportunity. I learned that they don’t have schools basketball, they play in there villages, which for my friends is Odessa. I learned that one of the boys from China only eats a squid if it’s moving. The girls from Serbia taught me that they stay out a lot later than us and have very different laws if laws at all. My close friend from Spain taught me that for Christmas they put money in to build a building then burn it down as a celebration, and they have lots of bullfights, and a whole day of throwing tomatoes and they have a lot of parties. The kids who were born and raised here say that the international students are reserved and shy, but is it the international kids or the American kids, because from my perspective if we just asked, we would get an answer.