“How many of you have been outside the United States? Who knows were Cambodia is located?” asked David Troxell as he pointed to a world map. “We live in Thailand during the winter but have been helping a school in Cambodia through the Jamestown Rotary Club.”
Mr. Troxell and his wife Marissa met with Love Elementary School third graders to tell stories and display photographs and video of their trip to a Cambodian school. Students were able to see classrooms, the cafeteria, playground and library, along with some of the local culture like Cambodian homes, food and transportation. The Troxells also showed students the team’s improvements made to the school including installing new chalkboards and providing grass to create a playground area through the support of the Jamestown Rotary Club. The Troxells also built a new patio with the help of children and their parents. During the visit, the Troxells discussed how Cambodian students share many of the same daily activities as Love students do during their school day.
Love Elementary School teacher Danielle Russell invited the Troxells, and Jamestown Rotary President Sharon Hamilton, to visit with the third grade classrooms because of an article in The Post Journal about the Jamestown Rotary Club’s work in Cambodia. She thought students would benefit from learning more about the work as part of their ELA modules, which focus on teaching students about different communities around the world and how they access education, books, and reading.
“When I saw that the Troxells and the Jamestown Rotary were working with a school across the world, I thought it would be a perfect connection for our third graders. The addition of stories, photos and video really help students understand what it is like to live in another country,” said Mrs. Russell. “To add to the experience, third graders will collect money to be donated to the Jamestown Rotary Club to be used to continue the support of the school in Cambodia.”
The third graders ELA module uses literature and informational text such as My Librarian Is a Camel to introduce students to the power of literacy and how people around the world access books. Students examine the main message in literature about individuals and groups from world communities, including the United States, who have gone to great lengths to access education. Students also delve into geography, and how where one lives in the world impacts how one accesses books.
“We have learned that it’s really hard for some kids to get books in the world,” said Love Elementary School third grader Jonathan Williams. “And if they do get them it may not be like we do - in a library. It might be by camel or someone delivering them. It was interesting to see how kids in Cambodia go to school. They rode a ‘train’ but it didn’t look like trains we are used to seeing. They also eat interesting stuff that we would never eat here.”