The GEF announced its newest funding initiative in the spring of 2011. The Global Learning Academy, administered by the Granby Public School System, is an exciting program focused on developing students’ 21st-century skills through language, culture, and global issues studies. The Global Learning Academy was implemented in three phases: a Summer Academy, a Saturday Academy, and a fall Global Learning Event highlighting student learning and extending the experience throughout the school system and into the community.
The GEF granted $15,000 from its General Fund to support the first year of programming.
The first Academy began in June 2011 and was a great success. The focus was on China. The students were introduced to the basics of Mandarin language and character writing. They enjoyed such cultural activities as: origami, building and racing their own dragon boats, tasting traditional foods, studying the Chinese zodiac, and learning native songs and dances. During global issues studies the younger children learned about growing rice and the hunger concerns faced in China and here at home, while the older students took the issues of population and hunger even further by holding a World Food Summit during which they debated the use of GMOs and pesticides to increase rice production.
The GEF then supported two additional years of programming by granting $15,000 from its General Fund each year.