Children’s International has adopted Articles 28 and 29, “Right to Education” from the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child ("Convention") as its motto and engages in various education activities
assuming its role to implement the notions of the Convention:
Article 28: All children have the right to a primary education, which should be free. Wealthy countries should help poorer countries achieve this right. Discipline in schools should respect children’s dignity. For children to benefit from education, schools must be run in an orderly way – without the use of violence. Any form of school discipline should take into account the child's human dignity. Therefore, governments must ensure that school administrators review their discipline policies and eliminate any discipline practices involving physical or mental violence, abuse or neglect. The Convention places a high value on education. Young people should be encouraged to reach the highest level of education of which they are capable.
Article 29: Education should develop each child’s personality and talents to the fullest.
Education is the basic foundation to a child’s development. It is the tool that provides children with the skills to navigate the world. These skills include basic literacy and numeracy, as well as the ability to communicate, complete tasks and work with others. In this context, Children’s International has developed and organized various partnerships between Romanian elementary schools and Chicago land public schools. The program consists of a pen pal letter-writing program commencing in third grade and a mini student exchange program in fifth grade whereby students attend a student mini-school exchange for a two-week duration.
Education is not limited to academic learning. It goes beyond the limitations of the classroom. It is a global notion that expands to arts and sports and is an ongoing process that exists inside and outside of the school premises. It is a movement that strengthens a child’s value and accentuates his abilities and interests to the fullest.
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Our duty as educators, whether as parents or a school system, is not only to transmit knowledge and information, but also to help our students broaden their horizons, prepare them for life in a global world. Education goes beyond the space limitations of the classroom or the time limitations of the school schedule. It is an ongoing process that involves both teachers and students, inside and outside of the school premises. A school that opens its doors to international programs also opens the doors to an exchange of friendship and ideas between the host country youth and their international peers.
An academic exchange and a pen pall system between schools will expose students to an educational environment that combines the formal and informal educational components. In order to promote and strengthen cultural ties, to broaden student experience and perceptions, it is essential for the young generation to experience first-hand cross-cultural differences through various channels. One such medium is via an academic exchange, and pen pall system with another school in foreign country. The emphasis on a multiculturalist and globalist aim is to develop an intercultural relationship between global youth.
As adolescence approaches, tweens become increasingly desenstized, 2 Hearing first-hand stories from an international pen pal can encourage tweens to take someone else's perspective and to think outside of themselves. This may be particularly true when the pen pal lives in a politically unstable or economically challenged nation, or when the pen pal lives in very different circumstances as your tween. Learning about such a pen pal's daily plight can provide some perspective on the "issues" the average American tween faces, and give your child a little perspective about what's really important.
The pen pall exchange aims for achieving the following objectives:
• To develop a long term relationship between students of a similar age and gender starting in grade 3;
• To offer students the opportunity to broaden their horizons on a social, educational and cultural level;
• To provide students the possibility to see, explore and compare two different educational systems;
• To make the students aware of the differences and similarities between the social aspects of the country;
• To develop understanding and tolerance of different cultures;
• To develop an understanding of different educational mediums;
• To develop linguistic skills;
• To build character based on exposure to various cultures, behavior systems and social development over the years;
• To maintain a long-term relationship that develops as students evolve in the educational career; • To expose students to educational opportunities, which they may not otherwise have;
• The provide students first hand exposure, via a reality-based relationship, to various cultures, behavior systems and social development;
• To have this dialogue in a structured system whereby the school can serve as a forum of communication.
The academic student exchange components educates the student in a unique environment enlightening the student with various teaching approaches of another nation. The exchange provides an opportunity for students to learn about the wider world, gain awareness of cultural differences and develop a broader more accepting view of others. The experience enables exchange students to appreciate different societies, social and economic principles. A joint participation between the host and participating school enlightens generation of young citizens in an increasingly global world. The scholarly exchange is a transformative experience for all of its participants, a chance to build meaningful connections that often last well beyond the duration of the program.
The academic exchange aims for achieving the following objectives:
• To encourage communication between the teachers and the students of the two partner schools;
• To offer teachers and students the opportunity to broaden their horizons, to experience other cultures;
• To provide students and teachers the possibility to see, explore and compare two different educational systems;
• To make the participants aware of the differences and similarities between the social aspects of a country;
• To develop an understanding and tolerance of different cultures;
• To develop linguistic skills.
Children's International selects Ten (10) students to participate in the mini exchange based on written issue and interview.
The host family experience is unforgetable! The students get immersed in a culture and have a unique opportunity to explore the many facets of the new culture.
The student learns about that cultures traditional meals, etiquette, and preferred leisurely activities.
One can also take advantage of the host family's knowledge of the local area, enabling you to get the most out of your visit. Additionally, the youth will be fully immersed in a new language .
The student can absorb the rhythm of the language, the accent, and intricacies of the language that (s)he may not have been exposed to in a class setting.
Host families are warm and welcoming, and can make the child feel at home even when (s)he is thousands of miles away from his/her own family and country.
Many students develop lasting friendships with their host families.