University of Findlay receives grant for cross-cultural training in Hancock County
The University of Findlay recently was awarded a $36,200 grant from the Findlay-Hancock County Community Foundation to provide students in grades kindergarten through 12 with experiential intercultural learning opportunities in school. The funds are made available from the Madeleine T. Schneider Fund.
The project, Internationalize K-12 Education in Hancock County, will be implemented by the University’s department of language and culture. The goal of the project is to provide cross-cultural training and encourage development of effective intercultural communication strategies among Hancock County students through a service-learning framework.
International students studying at UF and domestic students who have studied abroad will work with the K-12 students. They will visit classrooms and share their firsthand knowledge of different cultures. The University will develop a resource bank with teaching materials necessary for the culture-specific activities for student presenters to use. Before the completion of the project, a service-learning course will be developed.
“The project is expected to have a positive impact not only on K-12 youth but also on University students,” said Hiroaki Kawamura, Ph.D., director of the department of language and culture. “The K-12 students will develop intercultural sensitivity through direct, face-to-face interaction with people from different cultures and those who have experienced different cultures firsthand. University students will better integrate into the life of the community.”
The vision of this project developed through the 2009-2011 Japan Outreach Initiative (JOI), a experiential cultural learning project funded by The Japan Foundation and The Laurasian Institution. The project is expected to serve 300-400 K-12 students each year.