New Fundays Get DC Kids Learning about the World
In June, Learning Life launched a new way to deepen DC children’s learning about the world.
Learning Life’s flagship Citizen Diplomacy Initiative engages lower-income DC families, starting in Ward 8 of Washington DC, in live internet dialogues and project collaborations with lower-income families in other nations. From January to August this year, eight families in Washington DC, Dakar, Senegal, and Jerash, Jordan, participated in the first project collaboration, a photo album comparing their photographic answers to the question “what is the nature of your community?” Stay tuned for a report on that project coming in December.
As we learned during the first project and in prior meetings with our DC families, participating DC children, who range in age from 5 to 14, come into CDI knowing very little about the world. Accordingly, we launched our first funday on Sunday June 11 with a focus on answering the question “why should we care about the wider world?”, and have carried out fundays on world geography and food. Fundays are typically broken into four parts:
- Introduction: Children and volunteers get an orientation to the funday, including its structure, rules and learning focus.
- Learning session: In large and small groups kids and volunteers learn basic facts about a world topic (e.g., geography, globalization, food, religions, climate change) via online videos, infographics, photos, maps and/or printed Learning Life funday info.
- Snack break: Kids and volunteers take a break and eat snacks provided free by Learning Life.
- Game session: The children, divided into teams, are tested on what they learned from the learning session. The more questions the kids answer correctly, the more opportunities they have to score points in bowling, cornhole and horseshoe games. The team that scores the most points wins (no prizes, just the satisfaction of learning and winning).
“Fundays are a fun, interactive way for CDI kids to learn more about the wider world that affects us all. Happily, we’re already seeing improvements in participating children’s knowledge about the world,” says Paul Lachelier, Learning Life’s Founder and Director. “Knowing the facts is often denigrated in favor of knowing how to think, but everyone needs facts to think, and the more facts about a topic one knows, the better one understands, remembers, and problem-solves on that topic.” (For more on the importance of facts for learning, click here.)
Fundays, along with field trips and international potlucks, will be held occasionally on Saturday or Sunday afternoons at different locations in DC. To learn more or to volunteer for an upcoming funday, contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Live in DC Ward 8 and interested in having your family participate free in CDI? Email us with a telephone number and best times to reach you. We will call you to determine if your family is eligible to participate.