Global Partners Junior, an award winning online exchange program that connects middle school students around the world, celebrated the end of the 2010-2011 program year with an exhibition and award presentation at Gracie Mansion. Awards were presented for student projects focused on this year’s “Living Cities” sustainability theme. Teachers from around the world with exceptional leadership in implementing Global Partners Junior won a trip to New York City and were the guest judges at today’s event. More than 500 New York City students participated this year in the program, which is offered in 11 public schools and 20 after-school programs throughout the five boroughs. These students work with more than 700 international peers in 47 classrooms in 25 cities around the world.
“This program brings the world to students in all five boroughs in a fun and engaging way, and we want to offer it to more New York City students,” said Marjorie B. Tiven, Commissioner of the New York City Commission for the United Nations, Consular Corps and Protocol, and Treasurer of New York City Global Partners. “The kids love using technology to investigate the world. They are also excited to be ambassadors for their school, community, and the Big Apple.”
“Students benefit enormously from these online exchanges, learning how to communicate effectively with diverse people,” said Global Partners President Professor Meyer Feldberg. “These students are gaining valuable skills that will help them succeed in today’s interconnected world.”
“Today we celebrate the visions that our Global Partners Junior participants have for developing more sustainable cities around the world,” said Parks & Recreation Commissioner Adrian Benepe. “In the same way our parks serve as gathering places for diverse populations, our Parks Computer Resource Centers serve as virtual gathering places for youth from across the globe. Through technology, we create portals for the exchange of ideas, culture, and solutions for the environmental challenges we all face.”
“This is truly a unique international program, and students in NYCHA programs are excited to be ambassadors for their neighborhood and the Big Apple,” said John B. Rhea, Chairman of NYCHA. “We welcome this effort to provide our youth with this wonderful opportunity.”
The international teachers attending today hail from Accra, Ghana; Dublin, Ireland; London, UK, Melbourne, Australia; Mumbai, India; Prague, Czech Republic; and Toronto, Canada. These teachers were selected because of their leadership in implementing Global Partners Junior in their classrooms. The contest was made possible by Delta Air Lines.
From October to June, Global Partners Junior students, ages 9-12, worked online on a shared curriculum. They communicated with students as far as Shenyang, China and as close as Toronto, Canada. The curriculum, “Living Cities,” focused on the factors that make cities sustainable, fun, and healthy places to live. For the final project, each class designed a zero or low-impact street vendor cart that sells food inspired by a global city. The final projects were on display at today’s event.
Today, each group received an award for their superior efforts in a Global Partners Junior core value: global awareness, technology, teamwork, literacy and critical thinking. Awards also were given in the areas of this year’s curriculum theme: sustainability and cuisine. Students created and viewed digital designs of their street vendor food carts or shared photos of their three-dimensional physical models online that are on display today.
Global Partners Junior is now accepting applications for the 2011-12 school year. The curriculum, “World Marketplace,” will focus on business and entrepreneurship. New York City Global Partners provides professional development training, student workbooks, and assessment tools and coordinates with the international participants, a network of more than 25 global cities.
New York City Global Partners, Inc., the not-for-profit organization that connects the City of New York to cities around the world, launched this program in partnership with the New York City Department of Parks and Recreation in its after-school programming in 2004. It was then expanded to after-school sites supported by the New York City Housing Authority and the New York Public Library and other community-based organizations, including CAMBA, Goodwill Industries of Greater New York and Northern New Jersey and United Activities Unlimited. In 2010, 10 New York City public schools offered the program for the first time during the school day.
Participating locations in New York City this year are:
- New York City Housing Authority
Beach 41st Street Community Center; Drew Hamilton Community Center; Howard Community Center; Manhattanville Community Center; Parkside Community Center; Rutgers Community Center; Sedgwick Community Center; Williamsburg Community Center
- New York City Parks & Recreation
Chelsea Recreation Center; East 54th Street Recreation Center; Sorrentino Recreation Center; St. Mary's Recreation Center; Tony Dapolito Recreation Center
- New York City Department of Education
I.S. 162, The Willoughby School; I.S. 223, The Mott Hall School; J.H.S. 190, Russell Sage; M.S. 53, Brian Piccolo School; M.S. 74, Nathaniel Hawthorne; M.S. 172, Irwin Altman; M.S. 217, Robert A. Van Wyck; M.S. 322, Renaissance Leadership Academy ; P.S. 160, William T. Sampson; P.S./I.S. 178, The Holliswood School; P.S. 229, Emmanuel Kaplan
- New York Public Library
Grand Concourse Branch Library; Mott Haven Branch Library
- CAMBA After-School Programs
KidsUnlimited at PS 92; KidsWorld at PS 269
- Goodwill Industries of Greater New York and Northern New Jersey
Diane Armstrong Family Learning Center; Goodwill Beacon at Farragut Community Center
- United Activities Unlimited After-School Program
P.S. 18 Beacon
About New York City Global Partners, Inc.
New York City Global Partners encourages New York City and its more than 75 partner cities to learn from one another’s innovative solutions to common challenges. Formerly the Sister City Program of the City of New York, Inc., Global Partners has convened eight international summits under the Bloomberg administration on urban issues including the 2010 Summit on “Urban Education: Innovations in K-12.” Policymakers worldwide share information about their cities’ successes through the Global Partners’ Innovation Exchange, an online resource bank of global cities’ best practices. Global Partners Junior is the award-winning program that connects New York City youth to their international peers on the Internet. It fosters global awareness and develops practical technology skills for middle school youth. Located in the office of the New York City Commission for the United Nations, Consular Corps and Protocol, New York City Global Partners, Inc. is a not-for-profit 501(c)(3) organization. To learn more, visit www.nyc.gov/globalpartners or call 311.