As part of their tour of Vermont, five visitors from Kazakhstan, sponsored by the Vermont Council on World Affairs (VCWA) International Visitor Leadership Program (IVLP), recently addressed some Colchester High School students. The visitors are exploring accountable governance under the auspices of the US Congress’ Open World Program.
Following the panel discussion with Jim Price’s Advanced Placement European History class, the visitors received a tour of Colchester High School. The students in the class were required to read the US State Department profile on Kazakhstan and prepare five questions for the visitors. Students also wrote reflections about the discussion; these student reflections—submitted anonymously—were also sent to the VCWA so that the student comments could be shared with the visiting group as well as with the US State Department.
Creating opportunities for students to meet people from a variety of cultures allows them to develop appreciation, insight, and understanding of others, encouraging respect for differences and building positive connections. It also often helps students to gain a greater appreciation for their own opportunities; many see the importance of their education in a new light, and this has a lasting and meaningful impact not only upon the students but upon society. Community engagement and collaboration and multigenerational learning partnerships of this nature foster the vision our community members created through the Colchester School District Vision and Strategic Plan 2012–2017. We are listening.
Opportunities like these are not new to Colchester School District. Colchester Middle School hosted a student from Afghanistan in February, as well as a native of the Democratic Republic of the Congo who now lives with his family in Burlington. Colchester High School’s Advanced Placement US History hosted members of our community sharing their experiences during World War II, and CHS’s AP European History class has hosted guests sharing their experiences about the Holocaust.
If you would like more information about CHS’s recent visitors from Kazakhstan, please e-mail CHS teacher Jim Price (firstname.lastname@example.org), or call (802) 264-5700.
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