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International English Teachers Visit Kentucky

From March 21-25, the World Affairs Council of Kentucky and Southern Indiana hosted 10 international teachers. The visitors, from Turkey, Cote d’Ivoire, Gabon, Russia, Uzbekistan, and Vietnam, were all English as a Second Language educators studying ESL teacher training programs. Our visitors traveled across the state, first meeting with professors from the Masters in Teaching ESL program at the University of Kentucky. Next, they traveled to Frankfort to tour the state capitol and meet with officials from the Department of Education to discuss Kentucky’s foreign language standards.

Finally, on Friday, the group saw these training programs put into action through a visit to ESL Newcomer Academy at Shawnee High School, a middle and high school that works with students beginning their first year of school in the United States. These students are typically at beginning levels of English proficiency, so instructors help students develop their English skills and provide emotional support during their transition to American life. The visitors sat in on English classes at Newcomer before meeting with officials from the Jefferson County Public Schools system to discuss the hiring of ESL teachers and curriculum development.

Our international visitors’ trip to Louisville concluded with a fun cultural day on Saturday. The group visited the Muhammad Ali Center and Kentucky Derby Museum before finishing the day with a dinner cruise on the Ohio River. From Louisville, the visitors went to Chicago, IL to participate in the TESOL International Convention and English Language Expo. Our visitors enjoyed their visit to Kentucky and will take many valuable skills back to the training centers and universities in their home countries!

Regardless of our experience in the field, there is always so much we can learn from one another. ‘Professional learning’ is endless! | – Bahar, Turkey

 

My strong belief is that people like us, teachers and educators, make the differences and build understanding between countries and nations. We shape and influence young generation’s minds and future and it was great to meet professionals from Kentucky to learn from them! | – Svetlana, Uzbekistan

Visit the group’s Facebook Album!

Real power is locked within us and we are unaware of it. Visiting the Muhammad Ali Center helped me to unleash my vital energy! | – Michel, Gabon

 

This program was funded and sponsored by the U.S. Department of State, Office of English Language Programs and implemented locally by FHI 360 & World Affairs Council of Kentucky and Southern Indiana.

Brazilian teacher uses Louisville connections to educate students about racism on MLK Day

In Summer 2017, World Affairs Council hosted ten English Access Microscholarship Program (ACCESS) educators from across the globe. While in Louisville, the group met with Dr. Renee Campbell, President and CEO of Wesley House, to learn about the organization’s work to empower families, individuals, and communities toward self-sufficiency. An educator from Brazil, Cícero Ferreira, walked away with a profound idea. When back in Brazil, Cícero wanted to work with his ACCESS students on a project to tackle racism. With Martin Luther King Jr. Day approaching, Cícero invited Dr. Renee Campbell into his classroom via Skype, to share her experience surviving racism and to talk with students about how complex it could be dealing with this issue. Through her accomplishments, she inspired students to fight for a better world free from racism. Afterwards, students engaged in a project named ERACISM, where they debated ways racism is shown in the Brazilian society and came up with ideas on how to “erase racism” out.

Cícero shared reflections about the virtual exchange below!

It was a different Monday for our Access students during their intensive course in January. While in America people were celebrating Martin Luther King Junior’s Day, our students at ICBEU Manaus – a binational center in the Amazon city – were also getting a taste of how important this date is for our reflection: racism is a fact; it’s there and we have to stand against it. Thanks to Dr. Renee Campbel, this urgent message was even more underscored.

Thinking of that, we at ICBEU Manaus, through our Pedagogical Supervisor Cicero Ferreira, have invited Dr. Renee Campbell to address a wonderful online speech to our students due to her fruitful endeavor to assist the women and kids who are victims of racism. Cicero met her during his visit to the Wesley House as part of a program from the American Embassy in partnership with World Affairs Council of Kentucky & S. Indiana. As he observed her willingness to contribute to a fairer society as well as the results of her work, he decided to keep in touch with her through social media and had suggested that one day she would be invited to address to the Access Microscholarship Program in his city Manaus, Brazil. The suggestion was promptly regarded as an invitation.

As the day of Marthin Luther King Junior approached, they had agreed she would deliver a speech on racism, showing where it is present in the American society, how she has contributed to assisting victims of racism(she was one herself) and how our young students could make a difference in Brazil, their country.

Speaking of the students, they were very touched by Renee’s story and felt very encouraged to become voices standing against all the evil racism does, just like she is a voice herself. The first step inside the classroom was a project named ERACISM, which served as a follow-up activity based on the issues caused by racism in Brazil, where it is present and how it can be fought. Aligned with Dr. Renee’s brilliant insights, students also came up with ways they can contribute to erase racism in their communities, schools and, considering a wide range, the Brazilian society.

Every day is the right day to discuss racism in our classrooms. More than ever, schools are key partners of institutions like the Wesley House, which – through inspiring people like Dr. Renee Campbell – instill the need for a better society tackling on such important social issues as racism. In a few minutes, Dr. Renee was able to convincingly instigate our students to stand against this evil practice and to make a difference in others’ lives. Like Martin Luther King, these students also say: “I have a dream!”

-Cícero Ferreira
ACCESS Coordinator

Dr. Renee Campbell, upon reading Cícero’s reflection had a few words of her own to share!

I sincerely appreciate and hold dear the opportunity that I had to provide an online speech to the students and teachers who are a part of ICBEU. It was indeed and honor and a pleasure to be making such a presentation a monumental and significant day as Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day. It was remarkable to connect via SKYPE to students and teachers who were as far away as the Amazon Rainforest. I felt very blessed to be able to discuss racism and to provide strategies on how to erase it.

I also learned a great deal from the students. It was wonderful to get to know them and hear about their struggles of racism and colorism. I discovered that there is parity in the struggles that happen in Brazil, and the United States. Many youth face the same obstacles youth of color face in the United States. The students that I presented to that day are brilliant and resilient at the same time. I believe that they represent the tools and vision for our World’s great future, without racism.

I must say that my dream is to one day visit and meet these students and teachers in person.

-Dr. Renee Campbell
President/CEO of Wesley House

About the English Access Microscholarship Program

The English Access Microscholarship Program (Access) provides a foundation of English language skills to talented 13–20-year-olds from economically disadvantaged sectors through after-school classes and intensive sessions. Access gives participants English skills that may lead to better jobs and educational prospects. Participants also gain the ability to compete for and participate in future exchanges and study in the United States. Since its inception in 2004, approximately 95,000 students in more than 85 countries have participated in the Access Program. This program is funded by the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, Office of English Language Programs.

This project was locally implemented by the World Affairs Council of Kentucky and Southern Indiana in partnership with FHI 360.

Events

Multiregional | U.S. State and Local Governance

September 21 – 26, 2018


Twelve international visitors from an array of different countries will be in Somerset and Frankfort, Kentucky in September to explore “U.S. State and Local Governance.” More details to come…

Home hospitality dinner host needed! Contact Laura Duncan, Visitor Program Manager, with questions at [email protected].

Ukraine | Open World – Prison Rights

September 12 – 19, 2018


Open World Ukraine | Prison Rights

Program details coming soon…

Host families needed! Please contact Laura Duncan, Visitor Program Manager, at [email protected].

Iraqi Young Leaders Exchange Program 2018

August 5 – 19, 2018


Theme: Refugees and Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs)

Language: All students speak English

The Iraqi Young Leaders Exchange Program (IYLEP) brings English-speaking Iraqi secondary school students to the U.S. for a four-week summer exchange to explore themes of leadership development, civic rights and responsibilities, respect for diversity, and community engagement. The will be Louisville’s ELEVENTH cohort since the program’s inception in 2007!

Participants on this U.S. Department of State-funded program are between the ages of 15 and 17 and are recruited from all provinces in Iraq. Iraqi adult mentors who accompany the students are educators and/or community leaders who work with youth and have demonstrated an interest in promoting youth leadership and social development. Competitively-selected American students also join Iraqi participants in all U.S. activities.

The program continues after the U.S.-based exchange with follow-on activities in the participants’ home communities, including alumni activities focused on leadership development.

Host families needed!

Read what one of our host families had to say!

“As a three time host parent of students in this program I highly recommend this experience. Getting to know these children and follow them in their endeavors to better their communities back home is so rewarding. Our family has maintained contact with all of our children. They never cease to amaze. I am proud to be a part of fostering these relationships. I feel it is an important step for this and future generations.” – Kelly

 

Worried about transportation and logistics? World Affairs Council helps with that!

 

World Affairs Council Provides:

  • Professional and cultural programming
  • All necessary transportation to and from meetings
  • All in-home orientation for hosts
  • Orientation and cultural programming for visitors

Host Responsibilities:

  • Provide a private sleeping area (students may share rooms but need separate beds)
  • Include the guest(s) in breakfast and dinner
  • Share your city with them!

 

Contact Visitor Program Manager, Laura Duncan, for more information! [email protected] or (502) 561-5422 x2


Belarus | Community Connections – Women’s Leadership

May 30 – June 20, 2018


Community Connections Belarus

Theme: Women’s Leadership

Language: Belarusian, Russian, and/or varying levels of English

Number of Participants: 10

Ten women leaders in the fields of law, journalism, and non-profit work will be in Louisville for three weeks. This project connects professionals from Belarus with their Kentucky/Southern Indiana counterparts through a carefully tailored professional exchange. Participants will establish professional connections, learn about the advantages and disadvantages of a democratic, free-market economy, and examine best practices/experiences that may be adopted back home to address their local challenges. Funded by USAID, Community Connections is being nationally managed by our partner, World Learning, and locally implemented by World Affairs Council of Kentucky & Southern Indiana.

WAC is currently in need of host families for this “Women’s Leadership” program from Belarus. Hosting is an unbeatable way to learn more about the world and make lasting friendships; an experience you can’t get any other way.

Read what one of our host families had to say!

“I have been hosting international guests through World Affairs Council for several years. Each experience has been special. The guests (teachers, students, musicians, health care professionals, etc.) are incredibly appreciative for the opportunity to live with and learn from an American family. I enjoy the opportunity to share a bit about our American culture and lifestyle; and, dispel a few stereotypes – we don’t all look like Brad Pitt or Angelina Jolie; we don’t all live in a mansion with a swimming pool! The guests visit to the US can be life changing and I am grateful to be a part of it.” – Patrick

 

Worried about transportation and logistics? World Affairs Council helps with that!

 

World Affairs Council Provides:

  • Professional and cultural programming
  • All necessary transportation to and from meetings
  • All in-home orientation for hosts
  • Orientation and cultural programming for visitors

Host Responsibilities:

  • Provide a private sleeping area (students may share rooms but need separate beds)
  • Include the guest(s) in breakfast and dinner
  • Share your city with them!

 

Contact Visitor Program Manager, Laura Duncan, for more information! [email protected] or (502) 561-5422 x2


 

Zambia | Promoting Disability Rights and Inclusion

April 12 – 21, 2018


Theme: “Promoting Disability Rights and Inclusion”

Country: Zambia

Number of Participants: 14

This special project will bring fourteen Zambian wheelchair basketball coaches to the U.S. this April. The visitors will be in Louisville, KY to participate in the 2018 National Wheelchair Basketball Tournament (April 12 – 15). World Affairs Council is proud to work on connecting visitors with local disability sports advocates, coaches, and much more! More details to come…

 

We are seeking home hospitality dinner hosts!