Fairfield Ledger
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Neighbors Growing Together | Nov 28, 2014

Maharishi School represents Iowa in classroom program

Apr 19, 2013

Maharishi School students are participating in an interactive, trans-national curriculum called Afghanistan — Hearts & Minds Adventures.

Developed by Minnesota nonprofit Children’s Culture Connection, sponsorships of the program were awarded to one school in each of the 50 states, recognized for their missions, past work and commitment to globalism. The Maharishi School is representing Iowa and joins students across the country — virtually — where they will learn about Afghan history, life and culture through the eyes of Afghan teenagers.

The purpose of the program is to take American middle school students on a “living social studies adventure” that helps them better understand the complexities of inter-cultural interactions, as well as more closely examine their own unique cultural values.

For 15 days, participating classrooms will read the chronicles of CCC director Dina Fesler’s adventures in Afghanistan. Written during the course of three years, the story offers an intimate view of an isolated and mysterious part of the world and a personalized perspective of the challenges their Afghan peers face growing up in a refugee camp. Daily chapters are accompanied by photos, videos, experiential learning activities and thought-provoking discussions to help students examine challenging world issues as well as their role as global citizens.

Through an online forum, students across the country will post highlights of their discussions, exchange thoughts, ideas, observations and insights from within their own communities.

Students also will have the special opportunity to communicate with and learn from a diverse panel of Afghan experts, including journalists, anthropologists, medics and educators, also participating via the online forum.

“Afghanistan remains a world conundrum, but by taking a lighter approach to a heavy global issue we create a portal for young people to connect to it; where they can peel back the layers and examine why things are the way they are; to see, think, ask and question the status quo,” said Fesler. “By taking this journey with other U.S. teens, kids gain perspective on who they are as ‘Americans’ and can more effectively examine their relationships with other cultures — whether those cultures are across the world, across the country or across town.”

The program began Monday and continues through May 10.

 

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