MERIDEN — Lincoln Middle School students are participating in an international art and cultural exchange program that uses technology to connect them with students as far away as India, Uganda and Russia.
Students are taking part in the Artlink program through Creative Connections, an international cultural education organization.
On Thursday, sixth graders prepared questions to ask students at the Educon International School in Pure, India.
The students “were really interested and we looked up some information about India and they got to know a little bit more about what we’re reading,” art teacher Melissa Grego said. “So when we conference with them we’re going to ask them questions about the art and they’re going to ask us questions as well.”
Principal Dianne Vumback said the program was made available through a state grant.
“It’s allowing our students to share stories and creatively express their own culture by learning about other cultures,” Vumback said.
The program has also helped to build tolerance and acceptance and appreciation of the arts.
The students “are more involved because they are actually creating and innovating so it’s more student centered,” Vumback said.
Grego said the class was not able to connect to a planned video call Thursday but would try another day. A connection between Lincoln and a school in Uganda took a couple of days to coordinate because the school deals with frequent power outages.
Grego said another class will connect with a school in Russia next week. After the video calls, students will have a discussion about what they learned and the differences and similarities in the cultures.
“Most of them are the same age as well,” Grego said. “It was cool to see what was different and what was similar in their interest.”
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