New Egypt Elementary School (Ocean County) teachers Scott Jacobs and Brad Mogol know that today's shrinking world demands that their students have a better understanding of other cultures and languages. Thanks to a $5,194 grant from the NJEA Frederick L. Hipp Foundation for Excellence in Education, their students, in this community with a growing Mexican population, will spend the upcoming school year learning about Mexican culture and the Spanish language to students.
Comparing the family, the farm, and the festivals and holidays of their own and other cultures will enable students to gain a better understanding and appreciation of diversity.
Direct comparisons between New Egypt and Merida, Mexico will make the project more meaningful to students and will teach them more about their own town.
Teachers will use an interdisciplinary approach to teach students about the richness of another culture and language. As students compare the languages they will see the common words and roots that help them see another common aspect of two seemingly entirely different cultures. Students will use science, social studies, Spanish, math, art, and drama to make comparisons.
The comparisons of cultures allow students to understand that different cultures, countries, and communities have common elements to which children can relate quickly. The comparisons will also provide a deeper respect for the richness that differences can provide them in enjoying an ever-widening view of their world.
For more information about this project, contact: