Ann Street School

Newark, New Jersey's Ann Street School has worked with the Rainforest Alliance for four years, piloting our curricula and school partnership model.

Ann Street School's fourth graders made personal connections with students in Colombia, Panama, Guatemala, Mexico and Belize through an innovative scrapbook exchange. Creative Connections, an international nonprofit cultural exchange organization, coordinated the swap.

Students wrote and designed scrapbook entries about their lives in the United States, describing their local ecosystems and providing other information about their neighborhoods. After reading one another's entries and discussing the scrapbooks, students drafted a list of questions they would ask their scrapbook partners if given the chance. They were in for a surprise: Creative Connections had planned an international teleconference between Ann Street School and their partner school in Guatemala.

The students were proud to share the details of their own culture with students from different backgrounds. One class in Guatemala taught their Newark friends a few words in Qeqchi, the indigenous language spoken in their community. When Ann Street School students learned that their Guatemalan friends were in need of books, they held a book drive to help out.

Linda Richardson "The finished product of this interdisciplinary unit of instruction was extremely comprehensive. The lessons interfaced literacy, mathematics, science, social studies, art, and music. The result was astounding, motivating, and well done, evidencing collaboration, satisfaction, and effective learning."

Linda J. Richardson
Principal
Ann Street School
Newark, NJ


Shirley Mourin "This program is a blessing for the kids who come from Latin America to the US where everything is strange to them. The Rainforest Alliance curriculum really connects them to their classmates and their new environment...This program also brought our school together as a community. It allowed me to work with other teachers and students that I don't otherwise get to interact with."

Shirley Mourin
World Language Teacher
Ann Street School
Newark, NJ

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