For the first time, fifteen American elementary students from Glenelg Country School in Howard County, Maryland and twenty-four Colombian elementary students from Institucion Educativa Valentina Figueroa in Urrao, Antioquia connected virtually through Marshall Legacy Institute's (MLI) Children Against Mines Program (CHAMPS). This virtual exchange experience allowed children to get to know each other and to learn about their schools.
Additionally, children worked together to complete an activity about leadership. Through the activities and sharing, the children had the opportunity to practice their Spanish and English during the call.
CHAMPS is designed to connect children in the U.S. with children in mine-affected countries so they can learn about landmines and their humanitarian consequences in the mine-impacted countries. CHAMPS children become part of the solution of the landmine issue as they develop their own campaigns to raise money and support landmine-impacted countries or raise awareness around their U.S. community of the devastating effects of landmines.
CHAMPS is also an opportunity for intercultural exchange allowing students from both countries to learn about music, food, traditions and other cultural similarities and differences. In previous CHAMPS connections with countries such as Yemen, Bosnia, Afghanistan, and Iraq, children have sung songs for each other, played their musical instruments, danced for each other, compared their "favorites" things, and even quizzed one another on their multiplication facts.
We are looking forward for our next Colombia-U.S. CHAMPS monthly call in April.