Patrick Marsh Middle School students and staff participated in Geography Awareness Week and International Education Week activities initiated by Go Global Club members and their advisor, Reading Specialist Sandra Kowalczyk, to encourage students to learn more about world regions and cultures.

Geography was everywhere at Patrick Marsh on November 17 as students and staff celebrated Geography Awareness Day by wearing T-shirts or sweatshirts bearing the names or pictures of a city, state, country, continent or landmark. Some attire represented cultural heritage, while others depicted places individuals visited or dream about visiting. Students wore T-shirts featuring locations from all 7 continents, even Antarctica.

In classrooms throughout the school, students pointed out on world maps and globes the locations represented on their shirts. Almost 300 students and staff participated in this annual event.

Ann Larson, technology integrator at Sun Prairie School District, taught Go Global Club members about the country of the Gambia. A very small predominantly Muslim country, Gambia is located on Africa's west coast that follows the Gambian River and is surrounded by Senegal. Larson and her husband lived in Gambia during their time as Peace Corps Volunteers.

Following a PowerPoint presentation, students examined Gambian currency and her collection of textiles before dressing in Gambian clothing.

Go Global Club members also learned about Afghanistan through interdisciplinary hands-on explorations of Afghan Discovery Boxes, on loan from the Center for South Asia at UW--Madison.

The Afghan Discovery Boxes are a living and traveling museum that include picture books, children’s and young adult literature, music CDs, musical instruments, films, cookbooks, Pashto language resources, maps, an Afghan flag and typical objects found in an Afghani home. Students also enjoyed modeling Afghani clothing, hats, jewelry and accessories.

A priority of Go Global Club is to advance knowledge of other world regions and cultures through globally minded books, films, multicultural arts, and guest speakers, and to prepare students for an interconnected world.

Launched in 1987 by presidential proclamation, Geography Awareness Week is held the third week of each November, promoting the importance of geography education in the United States.

International Education Week is a joint initiative of the U.S. Department of State and the U.S. Department of Education to celebrate the benefits of international education and exchange worldwide.

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