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Midway Elementary students connect with kids from around the world through international nonprofit
Ayumi Bryan, left, connects her fifth-grade students with kids in Costa Rica online through the All For One Foundation. Media Specialist Greg Orr, right, worked with Bryan and the kids to help translate during the discussion. — Photo courtesy of Greg Walkup

Midway Elementary School recently partnered with an international nonprofit organization to provide a new program to its students which allows them to learn about different cultures while interacting with other students from across the world.

The nonprofit, the All For One Foundation, started in Illinois in 2002 and has since grown to different parts of the world through partnerships with other organizations. The foundation works to offer help to children everywhere by improving social conditions, educational opportunities and health care availability.

They have worked together with Midway Elementary School leaders to launch Passport Around the World, which provides a series of service-learning initiatives for fifth-grade students that encourages cross-cultural learning.

“This unique enrichment opportunity promotes children at a young age to understand different perspectives around the world,” said Newton Myvett, president of the All For One Foundation.

For the first of many virtual learning opportunities for students within the program, the All For One Foundation connected with CEPIA, another nonprofit organization based in Guanacaste, Costa Rica that works to help children through different cultural and educational opportunities.

The students in Ayumi Bryan’s fifth-grade class were able to connect with kids in Guanacaste through the organization, going on a virtual field trip via Teams Connect.

The trip started with what Greg Walkup, a personalized learning coach at Midway Elementary, described as a geography exchange. The children from Costa Rica told the students from Midway more about the country’s flag, national flower, national bird and about the wildlife in the country.

Bryan’s students also asked the kids about the election process in Costa Rica, the country’s leader and they asked what they all knew about American football.

“We are excited to start a beautiful educational partnership and intercultural project with the All for One Foundation, allowing the underprivileged children of our coastal area of Costa Rica to get to know children from another culture, exchange ideas and to practice communicating in English,” said Laetitia Deweer, vice president and founder of CEPIA.

After the virtual field trip, the Midway Elementary students wanted to continue their relationship with the kids in Costa Rica and decided to work with their teachers and school leaders to start a school-wide supply drive to help support them.

Midway Elementary and the All For One Foundation plans to continue with the Passport Around the World program at the school, and they are already planning for the students’ next virtual trip in Belize.

“What an exciting adventure,” Walkup said. “Being able to engage, contribute and develop relationships across boundaries and cultures is a component of the Forsyth County Schools’ learner profile and something we believe in strongly in our district and at Midway Elementary. We are very humbled and honored to have the opportunity to serve and partner alongside the All For One Foundation.”

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