Thanks to video conferencing, even students as young as kindergarten can participate in Harker’s successful global education program.
Long before the much-anticipated exchange program with the Tamagawa Gakuen School in Japan that occurs in grade 6, Harker’s youngest students begin building relations with their overseas pals in Tokyo.
Most recently, the lower school’s four kindergarten homerooms held a series of video chats with same-age children from Tamagawa, Harker’s sister school. Parents first learned of the scheduled conferences, which were held in January and February, back at their orientation meeting before the official start of the school year.
Since then, kindergarten families had been looking forward to the video chats, which ran for 30 minutes and afforded both Harker and Tamagawa youngsters the unique opportunity to interact with, learn from and entertain one another.
Because it was such a special happening, parents were invited to join their children for the event, which took place in a designated kindergarten classroom. Harker students were required to wear their full dress uniform the day of their video conference, including their sweaters.
The kindergartners’ initial contact with their Tamagawa buddies has now set the stage for an ongoing relationship that will develop all the way through high school.
“We have lots of fun … and it’s time very well spent!” enthused Sarah Leonard, primary school head, of the video conferences.
Global education programs for the lower school focus on teaching about the similarities and differences between students around the world. Through a variety of activities students learn from each other about their respective countries and cultures.
There are global exchange programs running on all three campuses for students of various grade levels. In addition to Japan, Harker has sister schools in China, Russia, India, Australia, Costa Rica, Spain, Thailand, Ethiopia, Switzerland, France and Saudi Arabia.