Friday, February 26, 2016

Passport Club

Passport Club by A Crafty Arab

Once a month, my husband volunteers at my daughter's school to help with passport club. I tagged along today to take some photos to tell you about this amazing program our school offers.

We receive all of our materials from the The Passport Club, which has a fantastic tag: Give them the world. 

From their home page:
Since the 1950s, the number of countries in the world has almost doubled, and our connections to people and places has increased at an astonishing rate. However, many schools currently use outdated geographic material and fall short of preparing students for the integrated world in which we live. The Passport Club is an individualized, sequential, geography enrichment program for elementary students that is cost effective and provides updated materials for classrooms. Its main purpose is to help students learn some, or all, of the world’s countries over the course of a school year and instill the curiosity to learn more about our fascinating world. It meets essential academic learning requirements for elementary social studies and has built-in differentiation for students. Finally, it promotes strong parent and community involvement in the school!

Our school has been fortunate enough to do this program for a numer of years, all started by a parent volunteer who wanted her kids to learn more about the world. 

The kids are not graded on this extracurricular activity. There are some teachers who take time in their curriculum to learn the monthly countries, but it's the parents who get the kids ready for passport club at home.  

At the start of each school year, each child is given a passport and a blank map. The maps are taken home for studying, but the passports stay in the classrooms with the teachers until the end of the year.
Passport Club by A Crafty Arab

Each month, the children also go home with a map with 5 levels for them to learn.  One side of the map is blank but includes a pronunciation guide on the side.
Passport Club by A Crafty Arab

 The other side has all the countries labeled.
Passport Club by A Crafty Arab

Level 1 is usually the easiest and comprises of countries that are bigger and/or more well know. For example, in September when the kids started, it was a list of the five continents. The kids are not graded on this extracurricular activity, and they are told it's optional for them to participate. However, they are also expected to at least get Level 1 every month, so if they don't know Level 1, they will get a lesson during passport check day.

The levels then get harder, ending in Level 5, which are the capitals of countries in Level 1.  For February, these were the Levels.

Level 1 – India, Colombia, Romania, Chile, Libya
Level 2 – Cambodia, Botswana, Ivory Coast, Denmark, Oman
Level 3 – Andorra, Cuba, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Belarus, Guinea- Bissau
Level 4 – Laos, Marshall Islands, North Korea, Syria, St. Lucia, Malta, Kosovo, Swaziland, Togo, Vanuatu
Level 5 – New Delhi (India), Bogota (Columbia), Bucharest (Romania), Santiago (Chile), Tripoli (Libya)

A few days before passport check day, the entire school gets involved in helping the kids get ready.  It's mentioned in the daily school announcements and parents are also emailed. 

There are even reminder signs put out days in advance by the entrance.
Passport Club by A Crafty Arab

Our school checks kids once a month on a Friday starting 8:30pm. Each teacher is on a timed schedule to bring her kids from her classroom into our cafeteria where the volunteer parents are waiting.

Once the kids get to the parent volunteer, they open their passport to that month and the volunteer starts at the top Level 1 and works their way down to Level 5, seeing how far through the levels the kids can locate what's on the list.
Passport Club by A Crafty Arab

Once they are done, they get a stamp for each level they completed.  They may choose any stamp they'd like to tape to the blank visa side as they are waiting for classmate's turn. The parents pre-print these stamps on photography paper to hold their crispness but also make them a little stiff so they look like real stamps. This part is optional and some kids put one stamp and others try to cover their page with visa "stamps".
Passport Club by A Crafty Arab

If they get to Level 5, the volunteer adult rings a bell next to them and everyone in the room cheers. At the end of the year, any student that makes it to Level 5 in every month gets a special certificate, a travel related prize and special recognition in front of the whole school.

I hope you have enjoyed reading about our Passport Club and maybe you are inspired to start your own at your school.

No comments:

Post a Comment