Jenks Elementary students are excited about their new classmates – who live 6,000 miles away in Winneba, Ghana, West Africa.
Jenks sisters Emily Copsey and Clara Brown plan to merge their classrooms across nations with a program called Global Read Aloud.
The program allows students in the U.S. to connect with students from all over the world through reading and technology. Students across nations read a book together and discusses it through Skype or other means of communicating in real time.
Copsey teaches fifth grade at Jenks East Intermediate and has been teaching at Jenks Elementary for eight years. Her younger sister, Brown, has recently graduated from Oklahoma State and is beginning her first year teaching at The Pearl House Academy in Africa.
The sister-teachers hope to build a bridge through reading from a small classroom in Tulsa to a small classroom in Ghana. Through the program, students in both classrooms will read a book together over a period of six months and discuss it as one class via Facetime.
“Clara loves Ghana and loves to travel and I’m happy here in Tulsa. In fact, I don’t really like flying,” Emily Copsey said. “But I believe in both the power of books and my sister’s heart in helping these young ladies in Ghana. My students can’t wait to hear about the lives of these girls in Ghana and think it’s so cool that we get to partner with a school so far away.”
For their first book, they will read Refugee by Alan Gratz together, a book following three children in different time periods and their search for refuge.
“We are focusing on teaching empathy this year, and this book and experience with The Pearl House Academy will definitely help reinforce it,” Copsey said.