Ed­u­ca­tion Through Ed­u­ca­tion: Global Class­room

El Dorado News-Times - - In Our Schools - By Ta­sia Richard­son Hi-Gusher staff

Global Class­room is a travel group open to any stu­dent in Union County but pri­mar­ily serves stu­dents at El Do­rado High School.

Angie Parker, a Pre-AP/ AP Bi­ol­ogy teacher at EHS, is the lead teacher for the Global Class­room. Through the pro­gram, stu­dents get to ex­pe­ri­ence var­i­ous cul­tures and at­trac­tions around the world. Parker said that though she plays the lead role in the trips, they wouldn’t be pos­si­ble with­out the help of other EHS fac­ulty.

“I do the re­search and plan­ning in­volved. I help stu­dents en­roll by hav­ing in­ter­est meet­ings and hold meet­ings to pre­pare for our trav­els. The num­ber of trav­el­ers de­ter­mines the num­ber of chap­er­ones so that our trips are safe and or­ga­nized. Sheri Rankin is an ex­pe­ri­enced chap­er­one that will be go­ing to Costa Rica and Europe. Cal­lie Kit­tle and Pate Baul­dree are help­ing chap­er­one the Costa Rica trip as well. Hin­ton Fos­ter is a chap­er­one for the Euro­pean trip and Jamie Lowe plans to help chap­er­one the Hawai­ian trip,” she ex­plained.

Parker ex­plained how easy it is to en­roll to be­come a trav­eler. “Trav­el­ers sign up on­line with their par­ent where they fill out forms and make pay­ments. A per­mis­sion slip isn’t nec­es­sary since the par­ent is sign­ing them up in the first place and fills out forms such as be­hav­ior agree­ments and med­i­cal forms. Travel is open to any stu­dent in Union County age 13-19. All stu­dents have to do to join is en­roll on any trip.”

There are cur­rently still spots avail­able for the sum­mer of 2019. “The cost to re­serve your seat is only $95.

The cost to travel de­pends on the des­ti­na­tion. Most stu­dents/ fam­i­lies opt to make monthly pay­ments. To do this, stu­dents place a down pay­ment of $95 (or more if they want their monthly pay­ments lower) and pay off the amount un­til the month be­fore we depart.”

This year they of­fered schol­ar­ships. This was an­nounced in the Wild­cat Weekly and the morn­ing an­nounce­ments. Only five stu­dents ap­plied for the schol­ar­ship. Parker hopes to of­fer a schol­ar­ship next year to travel and hope that stu­dents take the ap­pli­ca­tion process se­ri­ously in hopes of be­ing cho­sen to travel. “This year’s win­ners were Dal­las Williams and Jarae­lyn John­son. They will be join­ing us in Costa Rica, all ex­penses paid. We even were able to pay for their pass­ports, gra­tu­ities, and gave each one over $200 in spend­ing money,” said Parker.

Stu­dents ben­e­fit by trav­el­ing in many ways. Stu­dents get to learn in all sub­jects through ex­pe­ri­enc­ing it. They get to see what they learn in text­books up close and per­sonal. “The stu­dents that we travel with end up be­com­ing friends and it’s neat to watch new friend­ships form within the group. We usu­ally take trips where we are sur­rounded by peo­ple groups much dif­fer­ent from our own, which makes stu­dents more aware of other cul­tures, be­liefs, and of­fers a bet­ter un­der­stand­ing of peo­ple un­like our­selves. We all learn life lessons and be­come more glob­ally minded.”

She ex­plained how this trip is not only ben­e­fit­ing stu­dents in school learn­ing, but also help­ing in their nor­mal life. Stu­dents also have the op­por­tu­nity to earn high school or col­lege credit by cre­at­ing a pre­sen­ta­tion fo­cused on re­search dur­ing the trip.

This sum­mer they will be go­ing to Costa Rica for 10 days. They will travel to Hawaii in June of 2019 for eight days and then to Europe (Rome, Paris, and Lon­don) in July of 2019 for 11 days. Last sum­mer, they trav­eled to Ecuador and The Gala­pa­gos Is­lands for nine days.

This is not a “class” where there is a lec­ture or one that you would put on your fouryear-plan. Life is seen as a class­room be­cause you are con­stantly learn­ing through the ex­pe­ri­ences, ex­pe­ri­ences that can never be taught here in El Do­rado.

Parker gave a brief de­scrip­tion on how the group trav­els.

“We meet at EHS and take a bus to the air­port in Lit­tle Rock. When we re­turn, a bus brings us back to EHS. When we travel, al­most ev­ery­thing is in­cluded -- flights, ho­tels, guides, at­trac­tions. Ev­ery trip is unique and of­fers some­thing dif­fer­ent.”

Some stu­dents travel more than once. It de­pends on what each stu­dent is want­ing to ex­pe­ri­ence. Trav­el­ing is an in­vest­ment in your­self, she said. “We owe it to our­selves to get out­side of our com­fort zones and be­come more cul­tured and un­der­stand­ing of our world,” Parker said.

For more in­for­ma­tion feel free to con­tact Mrs. Parker on Face­book on the page “Global Class­room of Union County,” or find her in Room 2523. Stu­dents can also con­tact her through her email, aparker@ esd-15.org.

Club days: Club days at North­west El­e­men­tary pro­vide ac­tiv­i­ties to en­gage stu­dents in new and en­rich­ing ways. Stu­dents meet and gain skills in pur­suits that en­hance their reg­u­lar school cur­ricu­lum. First-grader De­niecea Mont­gomery cre­ates a gar­den...

Greet­ing card: Mag­gie Martinez, a North­west third-grader, de­signs a greet­ing card.

Cod­ing: Us­ing Ozobot mark­ers, third-grader La­mar­ion Robin­son de­signs a code to ma­nip­u­late a ro­bot.

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