CTAUN’s 2008 BEST PRACTICES AWARDS

The three Best Practices awards presented at the 2009 Conference for projects inspired by previous conferences are summarized below.

CTAUN’s 2008 Best Practices Award was presented by Phyllis Hickey,
CTAUN Director-at-Large.

Left to right: Linda Dix, John Cronin and Regena Tardugno.

Irene Kabot, Peace Magnet Facilitator at William B. Ward Elementary School in New Rochelle, New York, was presented an award for “Wells of Love and Hope,” a Project inspired by the 2006 Conference on “The Global Challenge of Water.” Ms. Kabot became aware of problems in the drought-stricken Kibwezi region of Kenya, in particular of an area right over an aquifer where the residents could not afford the approximately $3500 needed to dig a well to reach the fresh water beneath them. Inspired by this need, the Ward School community undertook a number of money-raising projects. Aided by the local New Rochelle Rotary Club, they now have $6000. Their ultimate hope is to build four wells in the area, involving the local Kenyan Rotary Club and employing local people in the project. The children in the school in New Rochelle and the school in Kenya are also involved an International Peace Pal letter exchange and a “Seedlings for Sustainability” project.

John R. Cronin, School Counselor, and Regena Tardugno, Spanish Teacher, at the John Witherspoon Middle School in Princeton, New Jersey, received an award on behalf of the school staff for their “We Are the World: Teaching and Learning in an Interdependent World” interdisciplinary curriculum project.

Inspired by the 2008 Conference, “Teaching and Learning in an Interdependent World,” the four teachers who were present shared its content and materials with their colleagues. A team of twelve teachers and the school counselor then came together to devise an integrated curriculum that would teach students the importance of recognizing the interdependency of all nations and peoples of the world. The history of the United Nations—along with a field trip to the UN— together with the concept of world community, the appreciation of world cultures and languages and the conservation of resources are part of this curriculum.

After their trip to the UN and their interdisciplinary work in the subject areas, the seventh grade students also identified related needs that exist in the Princeton area and participated in outreach projects. Through their course work and community outreach, students were helped to see that not only is learning connected but the life-paths of all peoples have connections too.

Dr. Linda Dix, Director of Religious Education for Our Lady of Good Counsel School and Parish in Moorestown, New Jersey, received an award for implementing school and parish activities in “twinning” with other schools, both in the U.S. and other countries. The focus of this award presentation was on the work done with St. Francis Primary School in Kingston, Jamaica. Over the years there has been much sharing of books and literature between the children of Our Lady of Good Counsel School and St. Francis School in Jamaica. Parish, community and professional organizations have collected and shipped books and school supplies. Among projects stimulated through “twinning” have been visits from medical and dental personnel from the area to clinics in Kingston. The local chapter of The Delta Kappa Gamma Society International has provided funds for college tuition for a Jamaican teacher. Through the Pemberton (NJ) Rotary Club in collaboration with the Kingston (Jamaica) Rotary Club a project called the Wheelchair Foundation has raised money to provide over 75 wheelchairs for disabled persons, particularly children, in Jamaica.