The University of Findlay has received nearly $80,000 in grant funding to implement a program aimed at incorporating more cultural diversity into Hancock County K-12 classrooms. The project, led by Hiroaki Kawamura, Ph.D., chair of the department of language and culture, is “Japan Beyond the Automobile Industry: Integration of Japan into K-12 Education in Hancock County, Ohio.”
The University received $70,000 (85 percent of the total cost of the program) from the United States Department of Education’s Fulbright-Hays Group Projects Abroad and $9,550 from the Martha Holden Jennings Foundation in Cleveland, Ohio. The Findlay-Hancock County Community Foundation also awarded a Hancock Education Fund grant of $3,000 to Findlay City Schools and the Hancock County Educational Service Center to support the project.
Kawamura says, “I am very thankful for the support from our many partners,” said Kawamura. “This is a part of the collaborative community effort to help our youth develop skills needed for today’s globalized world. I hope to see the results of this project among Hancock County youth in the future.”
Through UF’s project, two education students from UF and 10 K-12 teachers from Findlay City Schools and schools serviced by the Hancock County Educational Service Center will travel to Japan for four weeks this summer.
Goals of the project include:
- integrating Japanese language and cultural instruction into K-12 social sciences and humanities classrooms through an interdisciplinary approach;
- identifying methods and resources to initiative innovative student-centered learning activities between K-12 classrooms in both Japan and Hancock County to improve the curriculum; and
- incorporating international perspectives into K-12 classroom.
The Fulbright-Hays Group Projects Abroad Short-Term Projects assist U.S. institutions of higher education, state departments of education and private nonprofit educational organizations with the promotion, improvement and development of area studies and modern foreign languages. The funds support short-term overseas projects in training, research and curriculum development in modern foreign languages and area studies for groups of teachers, students and faculty. The Fulbright Hays program awarded more than $1.14 million for 16 grants to institutions and organizations in 11 states.
The Martha Holden Jennings Foundation is dedicated to fostering excellent teaching and deep learning in Ohio’s secular schools. The Foundation provides “a means for greater accomplishment on the part of Ohio’s teachers, to encourage creativity in teaching and to bring greater recognition to the teaching profession.”