Since September 2013, Middle School students in Trident Academy’s School for Language-Based Learning Differences have explored five countries and their ties to Charleston. It’s part of the popular and unique Global EXPLORE program.
Program Director Becky Pritchard says, “Global EXPLORE provides our students an incredible opportunity to appreciate the many cultures that have influenced the development of Charleston and the many international businesses that make it a dynamic, global city today.”
Students kicked off the program with a unit on a global traveler – the U.S.S. Yorktown. Retired Captain Keith Bowman greeted and provided insightful tours on this WWII aircraft carrier. Captain Bowman commanded ships in the Pacific and Mid-East and directed nuclear programs at the Pentagon. During the private tour, he showcased the role of the Yorktown in the battle of the Mariana Islands during World War II.
In the next unit, students moved around the globe to China where they explored the link to the Lowcountry through the Charleston Tea Farm. The original tea plants were brought from China in the 1800s and, since then, developed the foundation for the only working tea farm in North America. During their tour, students learned the differences between black and green tea, saw how tea is grown and harvested, and sampled tea.
Explorations of Boone Hall Plantation, located just minutes from Trident Academy, provided the students a clear appreciation of the strong link Charleston has with the cultures of western African and the Caribbean Islands. There they listened to a live Gullah presentation, learned how to play African drums, rode tractor-pulled trailers into the crop fields, and toured slave cabins. The Global explorers observed the African art of basket weaving and viewed archeological finds from the daily life of slaves brought to Charleston from Sierra Leone.
In October, students visited the International Center for Birds of Prey and learned that birds in migration routes over the Lowcountry are often in flight to Brazil and other South American countries. After our focus on Africa and South America, the Global Explorers began a look toward England and its connections to Charleston. They have explored the Old Exchange Building and British Provost Dungeon and will now travel to the original landing site of the British colonists, the Charles Towne Landing on Albemarle Point along the Ashley River.
In the coming month, students will have the opportunity to hear Mrs. Renee Marshall, a Trident Academy parent and the Executive Director of the Huguenot Society, present an interesting focus on the French influence on Charleston. Mr. and Mrs. Marshall will host a tour of the Huguenot Church for the students. Later in the month, the students will be the guests of a docent-led private tour of the Joseph Manigault House. The Global Explore students have quickly realized that they are true global citizens living in a beautiful and unique global city.
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