Students from the One Planet learn to reach out across the planet to their international friends.
First graders in the Givers class at the Full-Circle Learning Academy, in Los Angeles, became masters of recycling in 2008-2009. Their cans and bottles had a purpose, however. They bagged, sorted and counted, to learn math. They practiced map-making skills by drawing both their classroom, the path to the trash can outside, and maps to the recycling center down the street. Next they took a field trip to the center with their teacher, Mr. Mayfield. Finally, they made a book about the project for their new friends at The One Planet School
, in Addis-Ababa, Ethiopia. They voted to use their recycling money for trees or seeds for the Ethiopian school. The project was inspired by a beautiful book sent to them by the loving students at One Planet.
One Planet School has quickly become one of the finest schools in Addis. Its founders, Gail and Zelalem Amare, have small children of their own yet devote their time to making their budding school the best it can be. Welcoming college students to conduct a training in Full-Circle Learning was one example of their innovations to benefit education in their region. In 2008, the school hosted the practicum for two other schools in the area, including the School of the Nations. Now the school trains its own new teachers at the start of the school year. As 8 year-olds share their similarities and loving greetings with younger children in Los Angeles, appreciation of culture grows. “You are so sweet. I love you very much,” the Ethiopian students wrote. Children in America intently studied the faces of these new friends in the book and mouthed the words, “I love you too.”