Au Pair Brings Germany to Lone Pine Elementary School for International Education Week
Lone Pine Elementary School in West Bloomfield had a great lesson in global awareness on Thursday, November 15. In conjunction with International Education Week, Franziska Eberle, an au pair from Germany, shared her culture with four second grade classes.
Franziska (Franzi) volunteered as part of Au Pair in America's Global Awareness program, which is designed to foster a greater knowledge of diversity and bring multi-cultural understanding into the schools.
Franzi taught the children a few German words, talked about typical German food and pointed out where she lives in Germany on the map. Her presentation was well received and everyone enjoyed learning about the German culture. Each student was given an educational placemat to take home with a map of Europe featuring some of the famous European landmarks such as the Eiffel Tower and Big Ben.
International Education Week (November 12-16, 2012, http://iew.state.gov/) is an opportunity to celebrate the benefits of international education and exchange worldwide. A joint initiative of the U.S. Department of State and the U.S. Department of Education, the week is designed to promote programs that prepare Americans for a global environment and attract future leaders from abroad to study, learn and exchange experiences in the United States.
Making the day even more special was the fact that Franzi’s own host child is a second grader at Lone Pine. The youngster beamed with pride as she watched her "big sister" au pair stand up in front of her entire class – while Franzi was thrilled to look into the crowd to see her "own" child smiling at her among all of the young faces.
Au pairs are young women between the ages of 18-26 who come to the US to acquire a better understanding and appreciation of American life while living with an American family and caring for their young children. Recruited from six continents, and over 60 countries, they represent diverse social, economic, educational and cultural backgrounds. They become full-fledged family members ("au pair" means "on par" or equal), sharing a cultural exchange experience that often leads to a life-long relationship with the host family.
Families who host au pairs not only benefit from great child care, they also truly enjoy the cultural exchange aspect of the au pair program. In addition, the au pairs from Au Pair in America are encouraged to participate in Global Awareness and go out into the community so they can spread their culture and knowledge to a wider group of students
To learn more about International Education Week, visit: http://iew.state.gov/