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The school library media center was fortunate to receive a grant from the Japan Foundation Center for Global Partnership ( http://www.cgp.org ) to promote cultural awareness and education. The majority of 3rd graders at our school participated in library research lessons. Scholars learned how to use databases, authenticate websites, determine main idea and supporting details and take notes.

On the creative side, Harumi Ori, a visiting Japanese artist came in every week to conduct lessons in Japanese art creation. Harumi taught scholars the importance of paper in Japanese art and children learned how to make paper from toilet paper and water. She facilitated a technique modeling to children how to create a marble looking effect with paper, ink and paint. Then, scholars used different multimedia formats to create a digital story illustrating what they learned in a storytelling format to be later presented in a showcase learning fair open to the community.

The school was thrilled that executives from Japan Foundation were able to visit and observe both the library research lessons and the Japanese visiting teacher artist in her art classes. Children were able to meet and interact with the executives and that made the grant funding even more special. As a culminating activity, scholars participated in a learning showcase where they presented their digital projects to the learning community. By scaffolding teaching to younger students, parents, staff and community members, Highview’s 3rd graders really internalized learning and it truly became a transliteracy project to remember!