June 4, 2008
In April, Global Learning Executive Director Jana Kiser was awarded a Mary Elvira Stevens Traveling Fellowship, a fellowship available to alumnae from Wellesley College. She is going to use the fellowship for a new Global Learning research project starting in January 2009.
With Stevens funding, Jana will travel to Peru, Argentina, Mexico, Uganda, Kenya, and Thailand in order to learn with educators teaching with empowering pedagogy that is similar to what volunteers use in Global Learning programs. She will visit three types of educational settings: progressive schools, outdoor education organizations, and refugee camps. In each location, Jana will gather and share best practice teaching techniques that help students think, learn, believe in themselves, and be active world citizens.
Jana has stated, “I feel very thankful for the opportunity to collaborate with our global colleagues engaging in best practices and look forward to returning to Global Learning with valuable ideas from
around the world.”
Upon return, Jana’s intention is to work with GL volunteers to write a user-friendly handbook to help improve education in underserved communities. Targeted at educators and parents, it will be a manual of tangible student-centered techniques field-tested in the developing world that anyone could use to improve children’s learning and life preparation, even with minimal material resources. Hence, this exciting project will not only inform and strengthen GL programs, but also will enable Global Learning to share student-centered best practices with a much larger audience.
The solid, self-sustaining nature of Global Learning’s current stage of development will enable Jana to travel for approximately one year, with a few visits to GL’s California office and current GL sites in Latin America worked into the itinerary. Regional coordinators and volunteers in Mexico, Nicaragua, Costa Rica, Honduras and in the United States will keep the GL wheels turning. Nessa Mahmoudi, Jessie Anderson, and Roberto Vargas Sanchez deserve special thanks as they have committed themselves to extra administrative duties and program preparation. Jana will collaborate with regional coordinators to guide the leadership training for program coordinators and support people in June 2009, and experienced volunteers will lead GL’s school enrichment programs. Jana will be the foreign coordinator for the new Global Learning program in Honduras. 2009 is shaping up to be a very exciting year for Global Learning!
July 26, 2006
In recognition of Global Learning’s years of positive and worthwhile work in Costa Rican schools, Global Learning volunteers were honored guests at the inauguration of a new high school in the community of Guardia on July 25, 2006. The opening of the new
school was a huge day for students, who had been learning in an inadequate barn-like building with plywood dividers separating classrooms. GL volunteers, who have worked with Guardia elementary and high school students since 2000, were grateful to be able to share the special day with students and community members.
Costa Rican President and Noble Peace Prize Laureate Oscar Arias Sanchez was the keynote speaker at the school’s inauguration. After the ceremony, he made a special effort to meet with Global Learning Director Jana Kiser to learn more about the organization and the good work GL volunteers do. Jana and other volunteers had the pleasure of meeting with the Costa Rican Minister of Education before the ceremony.