This is the gist of the groundbreaking Reading
Across Continents program uniting students in Washington, D.C., Nigeria, and Ghana through the shared reading of literature.
High school students will read
American author and National Teacher of the Year Sharon Draper’s Copper Sun, Nigerian author Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie‘s Purple Hibiscus, and a book by Ghanaian
author Ama Ata Aidoo.
Through the use of blogging and teleconference technologies, they will discuss
cultural and literary connections with each other and the authors themselves. A
select group of students will culminate their experience by traveling to
foreign destinations as “Literacy Ambassadors,” working with their newfound
friends to develop literacy-focused community service projects.
My Wonderful World is thrilled to join our coalition partner, the International
in support of the Reading Across Continents project.
This past Monday, September 8, marked the official kickoff during
International Literacy Day. Nearly 100 students from Washington, D.C.’s
School Without Walls came to the Martin Luther King Jr. Library to meet
Sharon Draper, who served as the keynote speaker. Senior-level students
read Copper Sun last year were on
hand to answer questions from the audience about the book’s impact on their
lives, including the depth of their cultural understanding and future plans.
Several indicated that reading the book had inspired them to pursue travel to Africa through study abroad and other opportunities. Others
referenced the sense of shared humanity gained through connecting with a
protagonist “like them” in the cross-cultural coming-of-age story. All were
enthusiastic about the experience, an affection that seemed to spread
contagiously throughout the exhibit hall. What an exciting program and
teachers: Have you ever collaborated with peers from another country to
enhance learning? We want to hear about it!