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SMS Students Participate in International Video Project

posted Jan 11, 2018, 1:14 PM by Lee Stephens   [ updated Jan 11, 2018, 1:14 PM ]
Ms. Kristi Barnes and her students who participated in the video project
Imagine you are a refugee, fleeing to a new country, not knowing anyone, having nothing and not knowing the language; but hoping for a promising future in the United States, a country itself built on promise. Now imagine a classroom in Chicago full of students who are refugees working hard to learn English. Mario Perez is the teacher in that classroom composed of students from twelve different countries. He is also a member of Teachers for Global Classrooms (TGC), an organization dedicated to helping teachers become leaders in global education. In the lead up to the holiday season, Perez reached out to fellow members of TGC to help him complete an international project for his international students.

Local teacher Kristi Barnes, who teaches social studies to sixth graders at Seneca Middle School, has been a part of the TGC organization for several years and quickly marshaled her students to participate in the project - the One Vo1ce Imagine Project. Her students learned, practiced and recorded themselves singing John Lennon’s song Imagine which Barnes then forwarded to Perez. Hers was one of fourteen classrooms in four countries to submit similar videos which were then spliced together to create a very moving composite video project.

Ms. Barnes said of the experience, “Our kids had so much fun learning about a few of the other countries and states represented in the video. We were also to able use the song to discuss empathy/sympathy in conjunction with a guidance department lesson and discuss past and current world events. I think they did a great job with very little rehearsal.”

As well as participating in rigorous professional development here in the United States, Barnes has also visited classrooms in Brazil as part of the TGC program. Perez is a global educator, TGC Fellow 2015, and founding member of the Newcomer Center in Illinois. The inaugural One Vo1ce Project video can be viewed online at https://youtu.be/dUN3WLirlAE.