With Global EXPLORE, Students Use the City As Their Classroom

The Charleston region is a classroom for Middle School students in The School for Language-Based Learning Differences at Trident Academy. The incredibly popular Global EXPLORE program will kick-off again with the start of school in August.

The goal of Global EXPLORE is to expand student horizons toward other countries, cultures, and possible career options. Each EXPLORE unit will cover two weeks. Students are introduced to a particular topic in the classroom and experience it the following week during a field trip.

“I really want to instill in our students an appreciation of cultures other than our own,” explains Becky Pritchard, program director. “With this program, we can show our students that they really are global citizens with a responsibility to all people.”

Global EXPLORE units bring to life cultures established through the settlement of the South Carolina Lowcountry, international business in the Charleston area, or provide an introduction to local citizens with international ties.

Mrs. Pritchard will build on the success of last year’s units and experiences and will repeat many of the favorites with the new students. One such unit includes reading the radar equipment that tracks birds in migration to Brazil at the International Center for Birds of Prey. Students also enjoyed a tour of KKBE synagogue. There, an expert docent educated students about contributions by the Charleston Jewish population to the region after their migration from Spain and Portugal more than 300 years ago.

During the classroom exploration, Trident Academy students complete multi-sensory projects that teach them about the topic, as well as its importance to local and international communities. The field trips expand on the knowledge gained in the classroom, allowing students to experience their education with local experts. Each unit is designed to support the curriculum for other classes. For example, a visit to Boone Hall Plantation supports multiple subject areas. There, experts can expand on triangular trade pattern lessons in history and social studies. Discussions about the Gullah-Geechee culture expand on lessons in language arts, social studies and fine arts. Finally, a trip to Boone Hall Plantation supports the science curriculum as students learn about the plantation economy and crops.

New this year, the Global EXPLORE program will expand the unit on international businesses and their link to Charleston. Mrs. Pritchard hopes to add a tour of Boeing South Carolina to the current experiences like learning about Water Mission International’s projects, the relationship Charleston’s NOAA station has with countries in the Caribbean, and touring the Epilepsy Lab at MUSC where physicians from several different countries provide excellent care to the Charleston community.

For more information, contact Becky Pritchard at rpritchard@tridentacademy.com.

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