FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
October 5, 2016
Partners of the Americas Forms Education Alliance with iEARN-USA
WASHINGTON - Partners of the Americas (Partners) announced a renewed alliance with iEARN-USA (International Education and Resource Network) a K-12 global learning non-profit. The alliance strengthens a growing network of teachers who are committed to building relationships across cultures and improving lives in their communities.
“Partners is extremely excited to be renewing our alliance with iEARN-USA and further strengthening the relationship between these two unique and important networks. Education is a global priority and through this alliance we will work together to provide greater resources and support to teachers and classrooms throughout the Americas,” Steve Vetter, President and CEO of Partners of the Americas, said.
As two known leaders in cross-cultural collaboration, the alliance between Partners and iEARN-USA aims to address key challenges and opportunities facing educators in the Americas, including bilingual education. Many Latin American governments have outlined national bilingual programs, yet lack the resources to implement effective language education. For instance, a 2013 report showed that only two percent of students in Colombia attain basic spoken English before completing school.
To this end, iEARN-USA offers classrooms access to other cultures and bilingual materials as an alternative to costly study abroad programs and language academies. Today, iEARN’s global corps of educators connect through online projects with other classrooms in more than 140 countries via virtual exchange. These projects add a global citizenship component to local curricula while exposing students to online communications technology and authentic language interactions with their peers from other countries.
Among other benefits, a limited number of memberships to iEARN-USA’s network will be offered to registered U.S. teachers in Partners. Their classrooms will be able to access the full range of iEARN’s online collaborative projects offered across the world and connect and communicate with a network of global peers.
To train educators in iEARN projects, Partners will award travel grants to master teachers from Latin America, Brazil, the Caribbean, and the United States to journey to their partner chapters. iEARN-USA will share strategies for how Partners teachers can incorporate virtual exchanges into classroom activities and standards-based curricula, including the Common Core and 21st Century Skills.
Since the early 1990’s, Partners chapters have been involved in iEARN initiatives. Today, teachers from 12 partnerships are engaged in iEARN projects ranging from simple teddy bear exchanges in English, to studying native birds in students’ regions around the world.
In addition, Partners and iEARN-USA are excited to announce that they will be co-presenting a workshop on bilingual education through virtual exchange to over 100 educators at the annual Partners Convention in Guadalajara, Mexico on October 25.
“iEARN-USA is thrilled to partner with Partners on intercultural learning activities to build bridges between the Americas. The annual Partners Convention is a great opportunity to share like-minded missions and objectives to further support mutual understanding and cross-cultural dialogue amongst educators. We look forward to collaborating on other projects and activities to further strengthen this valuable partnership in the future,” states Dr. Tonya Muro, iEARN-USA’s Executive Director.
The mission of Partners of the Americas is to connect people and organizations across borders to serve and to change lives through lasting partnerships. These partnerships create opportunity, foster understanding, and solve real-life problems. Inspired by President Kennedy and founded in 1964 under the Alliance for Progress, Partners is a nonprofit, non-partisan organization with international offices in Washington, D.C. Learn more at www.partners.net or via Twitter @partnersamerica.
iEARN-USA is the U.S. arm of a non-profit organization made up of over 30,000 schools and youth organizations in more than 140 countries. It empowers teachers and young people to work together online using the Internet and other new communications technologies to engage in meaningful educational projects with peers in their own countries and around the world. Projects are designed and facilitated by teachers and students to fit their curriculum and classroom needs and schedules. Currently, over 100 projects are underway, with over 2,000,000 students worldwide engaged in collaborative work on a regular basis.