March 22, 2019
By: Jessica Henderson
Community Refugee and Immigration Services (CRIS). In January, the Scholars Diploma program partnered with Community Refugee and Immigration Services (CRIS). Volunteers from CRIS led our Level 2 students through a cultural simulation that focused on building awareness around some of the barriers that New Americans face. The simulation emphasized cross-cultural communication skill-building by requiring students to problem-solve with students from other school districts. Each team had to acquire a range of craft supplies from vendors who did not speak English. They then had to collaborate to figure out the end result of a map-building task that involved instructions either in other languages or with images only.
In the end, students gained valuable skills in overcoming language barriers and communication across cultures. One student expressed the event’s success by stating, “I enjoyed today, specifically the activity we did with the instructions in a different language because I believe it helped many people understand how difficult it is to communicate with others when they don’t speak the same language.”
Columbus Zoo & Aquarium. Throughout the month of March, representatives from the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium guided our Global Scholars Level 2 Global Issues event. Students had the opportunity to hear more about specific science surrounding Climate Change.
The point of the primary activity of the day, however, was not to simply study the science surrounding Climate Change, but instead to help students build their communication skills. Students discovered ways to move beyond the scientific complexities of the topic by using values, metaphors, and a neutral tone to more effectively communicate an issue and potential solutions to their communities. In order to do this, the Zoo representatives led students through a step by step process that resulted in the creation of comic strips. These comic strips connected each group’s message about why Climate Change is a global issue, how it affects endangered animals, how it affects local communities, and how a simple program like biking to school can help to protect animals and people from the consequences of Climate Change.