SUSI participants are invited to come back during the summer following the year of their participation to contribute to the Bridging Cultures Program.
2015 SUSI alumna Eleni Lykou recounts:
As part of the Bridging Cultures Program, I was invited to participate as an expert speaker and workshop leader from July 11 to July 16, 2016 at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. The Bridging Cultures Initiative is a cross-cultural international program that provides the unique opportunity to American Educators from diverse educational backgrounds in the USA to work jointly with visiting international educators thus establishing relationships and encouraging future cooperation.
My stay was extended until July 22 so that I was given the opportunity to meet with staff and presenters in preparation of the sessions as well as to participate in follow up and evaluation activities. The sessions included:
a) Cross-Cultural Approaches to Educational Innovation;
b) Adventure Quest of a Curriculum Unit entitled “From Kos to Illinois”, which was a follow up from the SUSI program I attended as a Fulbright Scholar in 2015;
c) Workshop facilitator for two curriculum units.
The experience has been very rewarding as I was able to implement the knowledge acquired in the SUSI program last year and produce an Adventure Quest that could hopefully provide guidance and inspiration to the new participants. The Curriculum Unit, which was supervised by Dr. J. Friedman, presents a young boy from Kos, who, in the years of deep recession and at a time when the refugee influx in his country has culminated, sets off on a long journey into the past, thus unfolding important moments of Greek and American history. “In times of economic and moral crisis, when large population movements seem mandatory and extreme right wing ideas find space to grow, it is our duty to cultivate and reinforce the ideals of solidarity, social equality and respect for human rights” (extract from the Teacher’s Notes).