Oak Harbor Students Meet with African Students Through a Video Chat 


Mr. Croy and Mrs. Augustyniak’s seventh grade English classes recently interviewed students at the Cheere Children Education Centre School in Africa as part of their ELA 7 Course. 


The seventh grade students recently finished reading the novel A Long Walk To Water, as part of the Engage New York Common Core Module, with paired nonfiction readings about the African tribes and cultures. The novel tells the real story of Salva Dut’s struggle to survive as a Lost Boy in Sudan, Africa, and his eventual success in drilling wells to provide clean water for the villages in his homeland. 


We Skyped the Cheere Children Education Centre to help connect the novel to the current conditions of people, especially children, living in Africa. The Cheere Children Education Centre is located in the largest slum in Africa in population and size. This special center gives poverty stricken children a refuge to be cared for and educated. 


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One of the biggest challenges the teachers faced in organizing the Skype lesson was the time difference.  The African students are eight hours ahead of us. When our school day begins, their school day is ending, so the Oak Harbor students arrived early and the African students stayed late. 


The African students had never seen snow before, so the Oak Harbor students turned the camera to the window. The students asked each other what they enjoyed and did in their free time. It was an amazing discovery to find out, like the characters in our story,  that these African students also struggled on a daily basis to gain access to clean water. 


The students plan on making a charitable contribution to the school they Skyped to help the very students they interviewed. The students will be sending a care package and a donation to literally the other side of the world to help some of the most impoverished students in the world. 


This also inspired the 7th graders to begin work on persuasive arguments for various other charities. Groups of students are creating an argument using Google Presentation to share and inform others. This will also be preparation for  individual persuasive argument research projects.