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State department selects Howard for global initiative

MADISON – The United States Department of State has selected Bonnie Howard at Madison Elementary School for the 2017-2018 Teachers for Global Classrooms program.

Howard, who works as library media specialist at Madison elementary, was among more than 450 teachers who applied from 48 states and the District of Columbia. “Bonnie Howard is among 76 teachers who will be joining this year’s cohort,” a State Department spokesperson said.

The Teachers for Global Classrooms program is an intensive fellowship platform for these educators to explore the themes and applications for global education in their classroom, school and community. Past participants describe the programs as transformational.

The program covers one full year in options for fully funded professional development for U.S. elementary, middle and high school teachers to become leaders in global education. Global education is integral to building 21st-century skills, and teachers are the greatest resource to empower students as global citizens.

The objectives for Teachers for Global Classrooms align with Madison City Schools’ mission statement, which states “Empowering Students for Global Success.”

In their evaluations, participants have cited their rich learning from the online course, Global Education Symposium in Washington, D.C. and the field experience that they achieved abroad.

The fellowship educators noted new opportunities to expand professional networks, develop new lesson plans and curricula, utilize cutting-edge technology and engage their students in virtual exchanges with peers overseas.

The U.S. Congress provides funding to the Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs for Teachers for Global Classrooms. The International Research & Exchanges Board or IREX implements plans on behalf of the U.S. State Department.

Earlier this year, Howard secured a Lowe’s Toolbox for Education grant for $4,670 to help in building an outdoor classroom at Madison elementary. Howard applied for the grant with the goal of enriching the learning community at the school. To design the project, the school’s planning committee for the outdoor classroom is working with the Alabama Outdoor Classroom project.

In 2016, Howard worked to align Madison elementary’s library with Google Hangout technology to allow students to share their favorite picture books. This project allowed the elementary students to understand 21st-century collaboration skills and share their love of reading.

For more information about Teachers for Global Classrooms, visit state.gov. 

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