BY: GABBY RICHARDSON
The “Connecting Classrooms and Communities” program is an initiative by the Cameroon Association of Active Youths. This program provides schools around the world with the opportunity to make connections with schools working with CAMAAY in Cameroon.
Schools who are a part of this program exchange letters about their culture, traditions, school experiences, etc. Students participating in this program essentially get to have a pen pal in another country… How cool is that? We hope this program brings an interesting and memorable learning experience to classrooms in countries across the globe. By providing this connection, CAMAAY hopes this program is able to encourage multiculturalism, diversity, global citizenship, interdependence, social justice and sustainable development.
Who may sign up?
This program is open to any school in any country wishing to participate and be paired up with a school in Cameroon. Interested schools do not need any prior experience with international pen pal programs or organizations. We only ask for a firm commitment to the program by the school’s head/principal, teachers or other school governing bodies.
Schools involved in “Connecting Classrooms and Communities” will:
- Work with partner schools to develop collaborative curriculum projects which foster diversity, multiculturalism and learning about specific culture characteristics.
- Receive experience in an international dimension. This will provide professional development for teachers and school leaders.
- Become part of a global community!
What are the benefits?
The students benefit from this program by having a memorable interaction with an international peer. Through writing letters, students will improve their communication skills and language skills. Students will also learn interesting facts about their international peer’s country, culture and traditions.
This program benefits teachers and school leaders by allowing them to experience different educational practices and methods in other countries and also allows them to share their great skills internationally. This programme can help satisfy communication and language requirements of curriculum. DID YOU KNOW? – Language of communication in this program may be French and/or English!
“Connecting Classrooms and Communities” also benefits the entire school community by introducing an international element. This programme will provide awareness about some of the social problems facing Cameroonians and the ones CAMAAY works with.
How may this be integrated into your school/ class curriculum?
This program may be used as a culminating activity for students, a monthly assignment, an extracurricular activity, or a creative school wide initiative. We have had schools in Canada sign up for this program in order to use it as a tool for French language practice.
CAMAAY also works with schools to develop gardens and teaches communities about agriculture. Have any recommendations for school gardens? Questions about agriculture in Cameroon? Schools participating in “Classrooms and Communities” are more than welcome to write about these topics to fulfill science course or project requirements.
How do we get started?
Schools signed up for this program will be asked to write a brief introduction letter with photos, about a page or two in length, describing their school, their classroom and students along with the area they live in. Once the school emails this letter to CAMAAY (at one of the email addresses below) we will work to find you a perfect school match in Cameroon! When we find a match, we will contact you as soon as possible.
How do schools communicate?
The communication between partner schools will be facilitated and supervised by CAMAAY. We will help with the first contacts and communications between schools. We will be there to answer any questions or address any concerns along the way!
Communication between partner schools will take place via posted letters. Students will be writing hand written letters to their partner schoolmates. Classes as a whole may also write and mail a general letter to their partner school about a certain topic or project.
Schools signed up will be mailing letters to CAMAAY. We will then distribute your letters to your partner school in Cameroon.
Now… doesn’t this programme seem easy enough and beneficial for everyone? Why not sign your class up today?
If your school is interested in this program, please send an email to:
CAMAAY Resource Person
Previous Participating Schools:
- Trillium Partner School in Portland, Oregon
Current Participating Schools:
- École John McCrae School (Lindsay’s Grade 3 and 4 class, Claudia’s Grade 8 French Immersion class)