MORRISTOWN, NJ - Collaboration is key to raising engagement and quality of work for students.  Last week Unity Charter School’s Executive Director Connie Sanchez and Board Member Alethia Stone had the opportunity to meet with Professor Richard Fan and develop such a collaborative relationship.  Professor Fan is the director of the South Regional Environmental Education Center in Taiwan. Representatives of the New Jersey Audubon Society accompanied him. 

Unity Charter School and the New Jersey Audubon Society have a long-standing relationship in working collaboratively on other such initiatives.  During their time the school established a plan for the upcoming school year where Unity Charter School and the Guoyi Elementary School in Taiwan will work collaboratively in addressing a shared environmental concern.

Just like Unity Charter School, Guoyi believes in the concept of creating a more sustainable environment on campus that radiates out to the community. They combine their ideas about changing the campus environment and infuse it with a plan that will change the atmosphere of their city along with the country and they’ve developed a relevant curriculum they call, “The Legend of Guoyihou.” 

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During the meeting, the educational leaders had the chance to set forth goals for this upcoming school year that will include the development of a rich experiential and constructivist curriculum that will address a shared environmental need, while also assisting students in Taiwan develop greater proficiency in English.  The curriculum will compliment and enrich our current curriculum with an opportunity for greater real world global experiences.  The program will allow teachers in both schools to share good teaching and learning practices. 

"We know through research, that the sharing of experiences is one of the most powerful tools in terms of cognitively engaging students,"said Connie Sanchez, Executive Director of Unity Charter School . "An international partnership such as this one also benefits staff development, enthusiasm and confidence, as they develop projects that are personal to them. Most importantly, this international link can put lessons and world events into context that are relevant and central to students in their personal and academic lives".

The goal of the partnership is to end the experience with a capstone project that will be shared with all members of our commUNITY.