By: Karla Karaitiana
Dozens of pupils at West End School celebrated last week as they had their global passports signed off after finishing a local reward scheme.
A Global Passport Report Station was held at the school and involved local volunteer parents from different ethnicities working through the Manawatu Multicultural Council.
They hailed the first year of Global Passports a success, with 400 enrolments from children in Palmerston North.
With support from the city’s libraries and volunteers, passport booklets were distributed through primary schools and libraries.
Participants had two months to complete five tasks — join two cultural activities, meet two new friends and take the world quiz.
Other activities included matching food and cultural clothes to the country, identifying each country on a map and matching the wonders of the world to their location.
About 70 pupils at West End School participated, and many children discovered their own culture along the way.
The school also holds an annual cultural day where children dress in their traditional clothing and some speak to an assembly in their native tongue.
West End School learning enhancement teacher Janet Blackmore says the Global Passport scheme tied in perfectly, with 35 countries represented within the school.
West End School pupil Amarni Teitinga said her favourite part was finding out what things connect to each country.
“It was really fun learning all the flags for the different places in the world. I have a really good friend and she is from Iraq.”
Global Passport Parent Support member Angel Kwan said during last week’s stations, they got great feedback from children and their parents.
“From the reports of the children about their work on the passport, we could hear they were most excited about meeting new friends and learning different food from different countries,” Ms Kwan said.
“The parents said they appreciated the programme which was educational and could let their children know more about the world.”
Ms Kwan said the group planned to do it again next year and hoped to bring Global Passport to more schools.
Source: Manawatu Guardian