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Two UCPS sister schools participate in Mexico showcase

New Salem Elementary kindergarten teacher Starla Williams helps students keep in line during a special program in which the school and its sister school (Marshville Elementary) studied Mexico.

Select kindergarten students from Marshville Elementary and New Salem Elementary schools participated in a cultural showcase recently focusing on Mexico during a special program held on the campus of New Salem Elementary School. 
   
Teachers from these UCPS sister schools worked collaboratively to plan the two-hour January 15, 2010, global project. Students participating had been focusing on Mexico throughout the school year as part of a district-wide initiative on globalization.
   
New Salem Elementary principal Neil Hawkins said the schools joined forces in order to participate in a special program on the country of Mexico. “Both are studying Mexico as part of the globalization emphasis this year. The program allowed students to dress in costume, sing songs, look at artifacts, etc. Students also rotated through stations as they explored the Mexican culture.”
   
Students from the Marshville classrooms of Erin Kaik and Millie Johnson, along with the New Salem classrooms of Gladys Butler and Starla Williams were divided into two groups. 
   
Using the expertise of The World in Our Backyard, an educational resource center based in Charlotte, each group explored the following aspects of Mexico: people, clothing and faces; land and animals; homes and shelters; economics/government and arts and crafts.
   
Students were exposed to large photo displays, artifacts, fun facts, native costumes, music, dance and many other hands-on activities. Student groups also created Mexican ponchos and sombreros, listened to stores, and used 21st Century technology to look at video and still pictures from the focus country.
   
“Through this collaborative experience, students were afforded the opportunity to make new friends while gaining knowledge about the country of Mexico through a variety of hands-on experiences,” Hawkins said. 

Written by: Neil Hawkins, principal New Salem Elementary School
Posted: Feb 17, 2010 by Deb Coates Bledsoe

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