Summer 2013 Trip
School Book Corners
This summer our fundraising allowed us to bring boxes of books for the students. The students have no money for books and possess at most a few per household. The books we brought were distributed to each grade, and ranged from picture books for the younger children to novels for the older ones. We set up a sign-out system in tandem with new shelves in each classroom's newly designated book corner, where students can check out a book from their class set to read. We focused on maximizing the accessibility of the books to the students so they can have the most opportunities to read the books. Also, after a designated time, two classes will have their sets switched to maximize the new content read. We will try to bring new books in the winter as well. Through subsequent donations we will be able to continuously bring books back for the students, so they can have a greater exposure to different ideas and information.
Teaching the Students
Summer 2013's trip involved two parts of teaching. First, the students learned English vocabulary regarding different countries and locations, as well as vocabulary about traveling. Then, I taught my favorite lesson of the trip. I showed students the path I had to take from Chicago all the way to their school in Guizhou. With the help of satellite imagery and some math from the students, we calculated the distance and time it took from Chicago to Wanjia Elementary. Then, we compared that to distances the students were familiar with. This was something that I could visibly see had a profound impact on the students, as they first realized how far a few hundred kilometers was in comparison to their daily commuting, and then the several thousand to my home.
Austin shows the distance and travel time of the trans-pacific flight he took.
Austin uses satellite imaging to show paths and roads that the students use in their everyday lives to give them a better understanding of the distances involved.
A Wanjia student totals the distance between Wanjia Elementary and Chicago, Illinois.