GLOBAL VIRTUAL CLASSROOM

2008/09 AWARD WINNING WEBSITESANNOUNCED

 

Dallas,Texas, May 5, 2009– The Give Something Back International Foundation(GSBI) has announced the winners of the 2008/2009 Global Virtual ClassroomContest (GVC) -- a free online collaborative learning project that fosterscreativity, cross cultural understanding, helping others and teaches IT andwebsite design skills amongst students working together from around the world.

Sponsoredby GSBI, the GVC program provides an opportunity for primary and secondaryschool students from different countries to work with and learn from studentsin other countries, as they collaboratively design a website on a topic oftheir choosing.  Teams are comprisedof either three primary or three secondary schools from different countries. Apanel of international judges evaluates the final work and determines thewinners.

 

In September 2008, AT&T* announced a $50,000contribution to support the Global Virtual Classroom project.

 

Withsubjects that range from wildlife education and conservation to culturalcomparisons of their respective countries, and from clean water, pollution, andclimate change to music around the world, sites from participating teams showthe kind of creativity that can come from putting approximately 2,100 studentsfrom 23 different countries together in a collaborative endeavor.

Theirefforts were judged for content, presentation, collaboration, and new thisyear, a helping focus. The helping focus was added to encourage students toalso demonstrate achievement of a helpful objective such as personal, socialand/or environmental responsibility or support for a worthy cause.

 

This year’sGrand Prize winner for the primary school category is “The School of Kindness”designed by students from Ein Ganim School in Petach Tikva, Israel; HarrisonElementary School in Warsaw, Indiana, USA; and Abraham Lincoln ElementarySchool in Oak Park, Illinois, USA. Their website promotes kindness and showsways to help people all over the world through stories, fables, and imagescreated by the students of the three schools.

 

Hedy Rosenthal, the Principal at Ein Ganim, Israel,states that “watchingstudents build a website about kindness is everything education should be. Itis not only learning English but acquiring technology skills for tomorrow’sworld and reinforcing educational values which can not be taught with anytextbook.”

 

The SecondPlace winner in the primary school category is the “Walk on the Wild Side”website presented by Reservoir Middle School in Newport News, Virginia, USA;Gymnasia №57 in Kurganskaya Oblast, Russia; andEpiphany Cathedral School in Venice, Florida, USA.

 

InThird Place of the primary schools is “Our Global Rainbow: Looking Beyond theColors” from Topa Topa Elementary School, Ojai, California, USA; LahoreAmerican School, Canal Bank, Lahore, Pakistan; and St. Therese School in KansasCity, Missouri, USA.

 

Thesecondary school category’s Grand Prize winner is the “World of Water” createdby C S Ramachary Memorial Matriculation Higher Secondary School in Madurai,Tamilnadu, India; Athens District High School in Athens, Ontario, Canada; andPercy Julian Middle School in Oak Park, Illinois, USA. This team created a veryeducational and interactive site complete with compelling original artwork onthe current issues related to water usage and pollution.

 

The SecondPlace winner for the secondary school category is the “Friendship BridgesGallery” created by Warrandyte High School of Warrandyte, Victoria, Australia;Wako Kokusai High School in Saitama, Japan; and Municipal EducationalEstablishment Secondary School #11 of Krasnoyarsk, Russia.

 

Third Place is awarded to Philippine Science HighSchool of Quezon City, Philippines; and Littleton High School from Littleton,Colorado, USA for their website about “Sustainable Development.”

 

Certificates of participation are awarded to allstudents. Plaques and cash awards are presented to the schools of the winningteams. The Grand Prize award is $3,000 for the winning primary school team and$3,000 for the secondary school team. The second place award is $1,500 for eachwinning team and the third place award is $750 to each team.

 

JoAnn Patrick-Ezzell, the Chairman and one of theco-founders of the Give Something Back International Foundation said, “Beyondthe impressive accomplishments of the website projects, we are thrilled thatthe teams also found ways to give back to their schools, fellow students, andtheir communities in very meaningful ways. I’d like to thank AT&T for theirgreat support of the GVC,  Theircommitment to supporting education projects around the world is inspiring.”

To view thewinning websites visit www.VirtualClassroom.org.  Online applications for the 2009/10 program are alsoavailable on the site.