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Juniata College Helps Organize International Event at Local Elementary Schools

(Posted November 18, 2002)

HUNTINGDON, Pa. --Elementary school students and their parents will try their hand at using chopsticks, find out how to do international dances and hear stories told in Russian and other international languages with Juniata College students at four Huntingdon-area elementary schools as part of the program "Around the World in Ninety Minutes," which is organized by the Huntingdon Area School District.

The program, created as part of International Education Week (Nov. 18-22), will be held simultaneously from 6:30 to 8 p.m., Tuesday, Nov. 19 at Standing Stone Elementary School and Jackson Miller Elementary School. The same program will be held simultaneously from 6:30 to 8 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 21 at Brady Henderson Elementary School and Southside Elementary School.

"We see this program as a chance to have young students experience new languages and cultural learning in a hands-on or fun way," says Kati Csoman, international student adviser at Juniata. "Last year more than 600 students and their families participated and they had a great time."

The program is hosted by Juniata College, parent groups at each school and the staff and teachers of each participating school.

Jeff Coppes, director of elementary education at the school district, building leaders for each school and Parent Teacher Groups from each school collaborated with Juniata College's Center for International Education to put together the educational program.

"The program will have a series of stations the children and parents can visit to do activities," Csoman explains. "Everyone can try activities at their own pace or spend the whole time at one station if they want to."

The "Around the World in Ninety Minutes" program activities include:

--The Passport Station. Juniata's Model United Nations club will prepare passports for the students. Students can draw their own picture in the document and get a stamp for each station they visit. "Some of the international students will bring their own passports so the kids can try to read an international language," Csoman says.

--Barnyard Animals in French. Centered on Le Vieux McDonald, or Old McDonald's farm, this station will show visitors how animal sounds can sound different in French and English.

--Fun With Chopsticks. The Chinese Club will instruct visitors in how to use chopsticks. More than 1 billion people around the world every day use chopsticks to eat a meal. Visitors to this station will try to pick up different foods using chopsticks.

--Spanish Sing-Along. Juniata's Spanish Club will conduct a sing-along of Spanish songs.

--The Dance Station (this station will only be available on Tuesday, Nov. 19). Visitors can learn the steps to international dances with help from the club United Cultures of Juniata College.

--Stories Around the World. Children and parents can hear folktales and stories told in Russian, Urdu, Portuguese and other international languages -- with help from the Juniata College Language in Motion program.

Contact John Wall at wallj@juniata.edu or (814) 641-3132 for more information.