East West Center sent 11 American teachers to visit Indonesian schools and Pesantren. Two of them were Grace Chao, from Connection Public Charter School, Hilo, Hawaii, and Elaine Robinson from Lewis and Clark Middle School, Tulsa, Oklahoma. Both of them spent their time a week (from July 28 - August 3 2010) to observe the culture, community, education system, student's behavior in Pesantren Sunan Drajat, Daliwangun, Sugio, Lamongan. It is the biggest Islamic Boarding School in the southern part of Lamongan regency. Moreover, they also had a chance to visit SMPN 4 Lamongan and an International School Pilot, SMPN 1 Lamongan. Both of them are public middle school. After visiting these schools, Grace Chao had a brilliant idea to follow up this school visit. Here is what she said in her email.
"It is exciting to me that as educators, we all recognize the importance of building common goals and responsibilities in creating student and teacher leaders to address the global challenges we face in our communities, countries and the world. I am very grateful by the opportunity for exchanges provided by East West Center, with the vision and tireless efforts of Ms. Namji Steinemann in 2008 with P4S, and this year's Fulbright-Hays Group Projects Abroad Program-Focus on Indonesia, and by the vision of my principal, Mr. John Thatcher in creating the "Going Global" curriculum. We are ready to work as true "Going Global" partners with Lamongan, Indonesia. Three things are already being discussed:
1) A small student designed and created "Peace/Friendship Garden" at Connections Public Charter School and Pondok Pesantren Sunan Drajat. Students at each school share the symbolic meaning of items placed in the garden to each other.
2) Art Exhibit of combined student created drawings in a mural form entitled "Message to the World" at Connections Public Charter School and SMP 1 (International Standard Pilot Public Junior High School)
3) English letter exchanges (Pen Pals) between Connections Public Charter High School students and students at SMP 4 (National Standard Public Junior High School)"
As a school partnership facilitator and an alumni of EWC 2008, the writer believe that this follow up project can run well since these schools have a high reputation and commitment to improve their student's quality as well as to prepare them in facing the global challenges in the 21st century. Moreover, Mr. John Thatcher has a high concern to save this world and planet with his 'Going Global Curriculum". It will be very interesting to share this curriculum through a school partnership. So, this world will have many more people who think and act to save it.