PARTNERSHIP IN AFRICA
Barstow has added a new partner school in Africa. Like Barstow, the Institution Sainte Jeanne D'Arc
in Dakar, Senegal has students in preschool through grade 12. A group of sophomores from Senegal will visit Kansas City during a cultural exchange in February 2020.
"The school is bicultural French and Senegalese, and the group coming to visit Barstow is very diverse," Director of Global Education Ilsy Blachly said. She visited Senegal in November to plan the upcoming trip. "The fourteen students who are comingall go to the Senegal school, but they are from places like Guinea-Bissau, Lebanon and France. They are already working with (upper school history teacher) Angela Guldin and the kids have exchanged letters and postcards."
That's the first step toward a shared history class between Barstow and Ste. Jeanne D'Arc. Barstow students will also have the opportunity to visit Senegal in 2021. Planning for that trip is underway, and includes day trips to the desert and the Island of Gorée, where students would visit the The Door of No Return. The monument is located at the exit point of the Atlantic slave trade from Africa.
"It's a very powerful place," Blachly said. The headmistress of the Senegal school is excited for the new partnership in Africa, which was one of Blachly's goals for 2019-2020. "When I contacted her with the idea of sharing classroom projects, she loved the idea. We both agree that we are off to a really strong start."
CONSERVATION IN COSTA RICA
In another first, rising sixth grade students will have the opportunity to travel to Central America this summer to study ecology, participate in service projects and experience the culture of Costa Rica.
During the service learning trip to Tortuguero, new middle school students will work with the Sea Turtle Conservancy, tour the countryside and participate in service projects at a public middle school.
Lower school science teacher Amie Buckner will accompany the group as the curriculum coordinator and school nurse Ashley Zinkus will be the service coordinator. The Barstow community will have the opportunity to be part of the service activities, through donations that will be taken to the school where students will visit and volunteer.