NES and Teach for America’s Brittany Scott ’11 Establishes “School-2-School” Relationship with Jordanian Girls School
Brittney Scott, who graduated in 2011 with a BA in Near Eastern Studies, is teaching 6th-grade math in Colorado Springs through the Teach for America Program. She is also utilizing her NES degree in running a “School-2-School” program with the Queen Noor School in Amman Jordan. Here is her inspiring account of the program and its effect on her students.
“Since graduating last May I have been super busy as a first-year Teach for America corps member. As a 6th-grade math teacher in a low-income school in Colorado Springs, a few months ago I found myself missing the connection to the Near East that I had acquired through my travels in the region and my coursework at Princeton. I decided to apply on behalf of my school for a special program called "school-2-school," and, despite the economic status of our school, we were selected to be the American partner school to a low-income school in Amman, Jordan. This school is called the Queen Noor School and it is mostly female students who come from poor backgrounds and who, like many of my students, aspire to go to college despite the fact that odds are against them. I formed a club at my school called the "Unofficial Ambassadors Club" and our students are skyping and emailing the Jordanian students. These cross-cultural connections that are being made between our students and the Jordanian students are so exciting to watch! They have been learning about each others’ cultures and lives and my students have especially enjoyed the Arabic lessons that I have been giving after school. I even hear them say “salam a le kum” to each other in the hallways!
In our club meetings we have been learning a lot about educational inequity and what that means for students in the US versus students in other parts of the world. After connecting with our partner school, my students have learned that the most poorly funded schools in the US have resources far beyond even middle income schools in Jordan. Also, they have been surprised to learn about the challenges that their new friends in Amman (especially the female ones) face in their efforts to receive a college education. In light of these discoveries, my students have become very motivated to support our partner school by gifting them an interactive whiteboard, or "smart board." This technology has had such an impact on the way our students interact with learning in American schools, and it would serve as incredible tool for the Jordanian students at the Queen Noor School, who might not otherwise have access to computers or even basic technological training.
The partnership between Panorama Middle School and the Queen Noor School is providing our students the opportunity to give to those less fortunate, and in return they are gaining valuable insights about a foreign culture as well as making meaningful connections with Jordanian students their own age.
Our students have been hard at work selling concessions at sporting events and soliciting small donations from the community but we are still about $3,000 short of our goal. We hope to be able to deliver the smart board to our partner school this June. This will be just in time for their teacher orientation for next school year, during which I will be training their staff on how to utilize this new technology in the classroom.”
If you would like to learn more about this wonderful partnership and project, please contact Brittney Scott (firstname.lastname@example.org).