Delray Beach Sister Cities
Teacher to Teacher- “A Year to Prepare”
(Proposal for a Teacher Exchange Partnership with Moshi, Tanzania)
Delray Beach has had a successful student exchange program to Japan for many years. It is an experience that area students compete for and which changes the life of the young participants. There is a selection process and then training, well ahead of the actual trip abroad. The activities are educationally focused and executed on a strict timeline that helps insure success.
As the Tanzanian committee aspires to develop our program we need to work in much the same manner. With that in mind it is proposed that we pull back from our current plan to make our visit this summer, and embark on a long-ranged Teacher Exchange program between Moshi, Tanzania and Delray Beach that goes into full swing this summer.
Teachers and administrators from Delray Beach, representing elementary school (primary education)), and middle school and high school (secondary education) will compete for a chance to go to Moshi, Tanzania as part a delegation in the Summer of 2009. They will be chosen from private, charter and public schools based on the merit of a written essay/proposal for wanting to visit Tanzania and a plan for generating the funding to make that trip possible. It would be understood that the intention of the program is to pir an American teacher with a Tanzanian teacher, and in 2009 our teacher will visit a specific teacher , assigned during this year, who will host the American teacher at his or her school in Moshi or the surrounding area for one week, followed by wildlife safaris and cultural tours. In 2010 the Tanzanian teachers will come to Delray Beach and be hosted at their respective partner’s school, for the period of one week, followed by cultural and entertainment touring around Florida.
The chosen Delray Beach teachers will begin a program of Kiswahili language study, during summer 2008, and will also learn about the history and cultures of Tanzania, with a focus on the Kilimanjaro Region and Moshi. In the next school year they would infuse aspects of their studies into their subject and classroom activities, so that students of their school start to embrace the concept of and feel a connection to our Sister City in Africa.
The study of Kiswahili would continue up to, during and after the trip to Tanzania, with the hope that partnering teachers will eventually communicate in written Kiswahili email and letters from the American teachers, as their counterpart respond in English. When the Tanzania teachers finally come they would be better fit to translate and explain what’s going on in the instances where there might be some missing concepts. The struggles with the languages will forge a closer bond. Though it is understood that Tanzanian all learn English in school but will benefit from opportunities to use it over the period of two years. They will also be very helpful in helping the American teachers who will be learning a totally foreign language.
The program would be over seen by Ngozi Mensah, Clovis Moodie , Maria Nhambu and former mayor, Jeff Perlman (who was a member of the inaugural Moshi Committee). Committee and Board members will be enlisted in the selection process and will be welcome to join in the language and cultural studies in anticipation of their own visit to Moshi, along with the teachers. An anticipated outcome/goal would be to introduce Kiswahili as a formal course of studies in Delray Beach and Palm Beach County schools, by developing written and multimedia materials in a Blackboard course, design for Palm Beach County students.
The program will need to be fully envisioned/planned during the next few months, but the intention of the exchange is to share best practices in curriculum, classroom management and school administration. It is hoped that the schools of the chosen teachers will get behind the effort for funding their teacher/s to make the visit and to help fund the visiting Tanzanian teachers in two years.
In the meantime, the Tanzania committee will continue its efforts to support the Moshi regional library with books and computers, through its Twilight Safari Dinner fund-raiser and other efforts that will be developed through the schools in the area. A concerted effort will be made to increase awareness of Tanzania at all school levels.
The participating teachers will be enlisted to help in a drive to increase student and family membership in Sister Cities of Delray Beach, Inc. and to promote participation by our youth and their families in local festivals and activities, and also in the youth forum at the International Sister Cities Annual Conferences held in various hosting cities around the USA. They will help by building awareness of the cities with Sister Cities in Florida and try to make some connections. Through their efforts and ours, Delray Beach can act as a catalyst to bring other cities in Florida together for shared events, both academic and athletic, for both the youth and senior levels.
Initially, the campuses and athletic facilities of American Heritage School, Atlantic High School, Carver Middle School and the old Atlantic High School campus, city pools and recreational facilities could all be pulled together to host first Sister Cities Sports and Academic Games. In time and with good planning we could grow to need the FAU and PBJC campuses and facilities. Looking far ahead, Florida cities might eventually invite their International counterparts and we could evolve into an International affair that would warrant the help and supervision of the Palm Beach Sports Commission. We can capture a lucrative niche event right after this Olympic year, if we are focused and smart about our venture.