Monday, November 29, 2010

Seattle Students to Study in the Middle East or China

National Grant Funds Study Abroad, Intensive Language Training, Leadership Development

WASHINGTON, DC (November 29, 2010) --  Up to a dozen Seattle high school students will spend next summer studying abroad in the Middle East or China, thanks to a grant from the NEA Foundation.

“Study abroad inspires students’ curiosity about and knowledge of their world and gives them a competitive edge in today’s workforce,” said the NEA Foundation President and CEO, Harriet Sanford.  “The NEA Foundation supports powerful educational experiences, like these, that nurture the holistic development of students because we believe they better prepare students to learn and thrive in the 21st century.”

The scholarships are a result of a partnership between the NEA Foundation and One World Now! (OWN), which is based in Seattle and is one of the only programs in the country that prepares youth to study abroad by providing critical language and leadership training.  OWN is an innovative two- year global leadership program for underserved high school youth.

At least half of the students invited to participate will come from public schools affiliated with OWN and the NEA Foundation’s work in Seattle (Rainier Beach, Denny Middle School, Chief Sealth, and Aki Kurose).  

The OWN program provides student with multi-cultural, multi-lingual, and leadership opportunities, culminating in a summer study abroad experience for six weeks, with a follow-up international community service project upon their return to the United States. Considered to be the most transformative component, study abroad often changes the trajectory of a student’s life and influences their decision to pursue higher education.

Seattle is also one of the NEA Foundation’s Closing the Achievement Gaps Initiative sites and has received a five year $1.25 million grant that supports programs to align curriculum and instruction, develop professional learning communities, and engage family and community members. The Seattle initiative, known as the Flight School Initiative, has two flights, each consisting of elementary, middle and high schools that form a feeder pattern.

Altogether, 16 schools, including the four participating in the study abroad program, are part of the initiative.

“We are delighted that, through our partnership with OWN, we can offer another life-changing experience that will result in enhanced educational and life opportunities for more students in Seattle’s public schools,” Sanford said.

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About The NEA Foundation
The NEA Foundation is a public charity supported by contributions from educators' dues, corporate sponsors, and others who support public education initiatives.We partner with education unions, districts, and communities to create powerful, sustainable improvements in teaching and learning. Visit www.neafoundation.org for more information. Find us on Facebook and Twitter, and visit our blog.

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