EUREKA (August 23, 2023)— Since 2019, the Humboldt County Office of Education (HCOE), has been forming partnerships with Taiwan with the goal of building a community around global education and to enable Humboldt County students to participate in project-based learning while developing international friendships. To date over 70 local classrooms have sister classroom relationships with teachers in Taiwan.
In July and August, a group of 25 local educators representing 14 different Humboldt County schools visited Taiwan on a trip led by Dr. Colby Smart, Deputy Superintendent of HCOE. Educators were selected from the pool of 70 educators with existing partnerships in Taiwan.
The visit was designed to allow face to face meetings between local and sister classroom educators for the first time. On meeting with fellow educators, Kristin Sobilo, Principal of Alice Birney Elementary School said, “I am grateful for this opportunity to grow with my colleagues, learn of new places and foods, and create new friendships that will propel our work forward at Alice Birney.”
The visit also allowed for joint professional development around Compassion Systems Awareness and the United Nations Sustainable Development goals. On the subject of professional collaboration across countries Smart had this to say, “Opportunities for collaboration and rich project-based learning through global partnerships help to widen perspectives, increase a sense of global belonging, and bind cultures together to strengthen our collective commitment to one another as citizens and the global community at large.”
While in Taiwan, Smart continued to build new partnerships and explore future opportunities for collaboration such as teacher exchange, English and Mandarin language instruction, indigenous youth exchanges, and expanding sister school relationships in Humboldt County and throughout California. “This kind of global learning could not happen without the passions and commitment of teachers and administrators on both sides of the Pacific Ocean,” said Smart. “Likewise, the support from our institutional and community partners has enabled us to develop a comprehensive and coherent approach to global education. We look forward to nurturing increased access to global education in Humboldt County and building the vision of international friendships for all students.”
Interested schools, administrators and teachers are encouraged to reach out to HCOE to take part in HCOE’s Global Classroom Connect Program and to be connected to a sister school or classroom in Taiwan.
HCOE wishes to express gratitude to the following partners: Rotary International Club of Eureka, Taiwan MInistry of Education, Indigenous People’s Council of Taiwan, Fulbright Taiwan, Chung Cheng National University, The American Institute of Taiwan, Chiayi City Government and County, Yunlin County, and the California Global Education Project.
All educators are encouraged to sign up for the Humboldt Taiwan Global Classroom Connect Program Cohort 2, kicking off September 19, 2023: https://my.hcoe.net/event/ctcc2023/