Local students participate in cross-culture exchange

Local students participate in cross-culture exchange

A group of 11 students from San Marco, Riverside, and Ortega is participating in CISV Jacksonville this summer.

CISV is a global community of dedicated volunteers, creating opportunities for all ages to experience the excitement of cultural diversity through educational programs. CISV was founded on the belief that peace is possible through friendship – and that the real difference can be made by starting with children.

Several students are involved in a Brazil interchange including: Jack Barksdale, Bryce Bongiovanni, Whit Hutto, Mac Lyerly, Caroline Taylor, and Ann Maris Walton. The Interchange engages the whole family —  not just the student delegate. As part of the program, seven delegates from Brazil and their team leader visited Jacksonville for two weeks. Then the Jacksonville students will travel to Brazil, where families there will reciprocate hosting.

While in Jacksonville, the U.S./Brazil group participated in a variety of activities .One of the most engaging events included a meeting with children from the Sanctuary on 8th Street. The day started with energizers to help the kids get to know each other and get excited for their activities.  The interchange led the first few energizers, but as the Sanctuary on 8th Street girls felt more comfortable they jumped right in. When everyone felt more acquainted, the first activity started, where three groups used team-building skills to raise a rolled newspaper (like a stick) from the floor to the ceiling as a group.  The catch?  Each person could only use one finger!  No grabbing or holding was allowed.

After 10-15 minutes, the delegates gathered for a debriefing.

“The debrief is the most important part,”  said João Moraes, Brazil Delegation Leader. “That’s where you try to understand the lesson.”

The second activity focused on cultural understandings.  Riverside Presbyterian Church hosted the activity.

Several other neighborhood residents are participating in CISV this summer including: Paige Charron (Norway Village), Eric Chiotti (Faroe Islands Summer Camp), Emily Evans (Austria Village), Xander Magevney (Austria Village), and Will Taylor (Faroe Islands Summer Camp).

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