SCARSDALE, N.Y. - Several Scarsdale teachers and students brought a world’s worth of experience to the first day of school on Tuesday after spending part of their summer participating in the “AsiaPacificEd Program for Schools.”
Since 2004, with the support of the Interdependence Institute, the Scarsdale School District has developed a partnership with the East-West Center in Honolulu, specifically with its “AsiaPacificEd (APED) Program for Schools.”
Each year for more than a decade, Scarsdale teachers of all levels have participated in workshops that introduce experiential learning programs in southeast Asia and Korea. They have also welcomed teachers from China, Thailand, Indonesia and Japan.
Additionally, Scarsdale High School students participated in APED’s “ Partnership 4 Youth (P4Y) ” programs in Cambodia that helped provide them with their own hands-on cultural immersion.
During the P4Y program in Cambodia, students’ knowledge of the location was fostered as they focused on the country’s history and culture. They were also provided with “opportunities for cross-cultural immersion and interaction with Cambodian families through rural community homestays.”
According to the district, they are hopeful of “emphasizing the importance of viewing the experience through a multiple perspective lens and being sensitive to cultural norms and values.” Students also engaged in community service projects with their Asian peers.
This summer, students focused on three different areas, including Phnom Penh, where participants experienced a developing country’s capital city. In Preah Rumkel, a rural community on the Mekong River they spent a week at the volleyball and English camp and in Siem Reap they were taught about the local civilization and its rich past.
“Overall, both Scarsdale as a district and the AsiaPacificEd Program focus on students as future agents of change in a growing interdependent world and teachers as guides and mentors in preparing students for their 21st century journey,” the district said in a release. “An important part of this endeavor is building cross-cultural understanding and global competency through local and global experiential and/or community service opportunities in real and virtual time across all educational levels.”