CJHS Speaks Live to Africa

Frances Wilgus, an eighth grader at Celeste Junior High School, and her parents Ken and Sally have been visiting Frances’ brother, Alex, in Malawi, Africa.  Alex is currently working as part of an internship with the World Relief Organization.  The World Relief Organization is a non-profit organization that strives to relieve human suffering, poverty and hunger worldwide.  Frances has been corresponding to Celeste Junior High School via her school Gaggle.Net e-mail account.

On Friday, Oct. 3 at 9:00 AM Celeste time, 4 PM in Malawi, Celeste Junior High School used Skype technology to contact Frances.  Students and staff were able to talk live to the World Relief office in the capitol city of Lilongwe with Frances and Alex.  Several students were selected to represent the student body and ask Frances questions.  Kayla Dill asked, “What do the people live in other than houses?”  Frances replied that many Africans live in houses that look familiar to most Americans, but others live in mud huts with thatch roofs.  Ashley Creed asked Frances, “Has being in Africa impacted your future?”  Frances responded that she now has a new perspective on life.  She commented that the culture is very different.  She learned that females wear skirts and dresses but never pants in Malawi.  Frances also stated that unemployment is a major problem in Malawi.  She said that many people sell small items for a living.  Frances said that she missed hot showers the most since she left home.  The students were able to speak with a Malawian national, who explained about what they do at World Relief.  Students also had the opportunity to learn and speak a little Chichewa, the native Malawian language.  A computer video cam was utilized to view Frances, Alex and World Relief workers live.  The World Relief workers were able to see Celeste Junior High students as well.

This is a wonderful teaching opportunity for all of us.  Many of the teachers integrated lessons on Africa into their curriculum.  Google Earth, Britannica Online and Discovery Education were used as integration tools in preparation for this remarkable event.  The students were able to share a unique experience using technology.