New York City Global Partners, Inc. today celebrated with participants of Global Partners Junior, the award-winning program in which New York City youth age 9 to 13 share thoughts and ideas with their peers in other countries on the internet. At today's event, held at the Swedish Cottage Marionette Theater in Central Park, there were participants from nine City Parks and Recreation Department Computer Resource Centers. Now the program is being offered to additional networks of after-school providers. After-school programs with internet equipped computers and staff are invited to join now for the September term. Global Partners Junior is operated by New York City Global Partners, Inc., formerly the Sister City Program.
The students who gathered in Central Park today have been communicating via the internet with their peers in eight cities: Beijing, Budapest, Dhaka, Dublin, Jerusalem, Madrid, Rome and Tokyo. The students in New York post messages on an online forum with other students around the world about a common topic and work on a collaborative curriculum with their peers from different cultures. The theme of this year's web-based exchanges has been creating an environmentally friendly city for the year 2030. Today the New York City students from the nine centers saw each other's final projects on future cities.
"This program is a gem and we want to offer it to more New York City students," said Marjorie Tiven, Commissioner of the City Commission for the United Nations, Consular Corps and Protocol and Treasurer of Global Partners. "The kids love these interesting activities and exchanges. We are offering all the curricula and technical assistance to interested after-school providers." In addition to "Exploring My Environment," the other successful curricula have been "My Dream Park" and "My City and Myself."
"Global Partners Junior bridges youth from around the world with the youth of New York City," said Parks Commissioner Benepe. "Through the use of technology, Parks Computer Resource Centers serve as a portal for the exchange of ideas and culture for this increasingly globalized generation. As City parks also serve as common ground for a diversity of people, we are happy to host Global Partners Junior in Central Park today in celebration of their accomplishments."
This program was developed by New York City Global Partners, Inc. in partnership with the City Parks Department's Computer Resource Centers. The program won the 2006 Innovation Award from Sister Cities International. One hundred twenty New York City students and 190 international students participated in this program for eight months. They all created and viewed two-dimensional versions of the "future cities" project online. In addition, the New York City students created the three-dimensional models on display today.
The goal of Global Partners Junior is to foster global understanding and communication between the youth of New York City and the youth of international cities through regular, web-based exchanges. It is a program of New York City Global Partners, Inc., the focal point in City government for international public sector and citizen exchanges. In 2007 Global Partners was a co-sponsor of the "C40 Large Cities Climate Summit" and, with Columbia University, produced the summit on "Governing a Diverse City in a Democratic Society." On May 10, 2007, Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg appointed Meyer Feldberg as President of New York City Global Partners. Professor Feldberg is Senior Advisor at Morgan Stanley and a Professor at Columbia University where he is Dean Emeritus. He has been Chairman of the National Advisory Council of Business Education and the Council on International Educational Exchange. New York City Global Partners, Inc., a non-profit, charitable and educational 501 (c)(3) organization, is a member of the Sister Cities International Program.
Through the Parks Department Computer Resource Centers, trained staff members encourage children's natural affinity for technology and make learning and self-expression exciting. Using educational games, homework help, newsletter clubs, internet scavenger hunts, and digital media projects, after-school students gain a higher comfort level with technology while developing useful academic, professional and social skills. Global Partners Junior projects were contributed by students from St. James Recreation Center in the Bronx; Metropolitan Pool and Sunset Park Recreation Centers in Brooklyn; Chelsea Recreation Center, Thomas Jefferson Recreation Center, Tony Dapolito Recreation Center, and Hansborough Recreation Center in Manhattan; and Sorrentino Recreation Center and ARROW Recreation Center in Queens.