Last week, students around the world celebrated the International Day of Peace by participating in a variety of PenPal Schools projects. By connecting with their peers around the world to exchange perspectives, learn new languages, and discover world cultures, students develop empathy, international mindedness, and other social and emotional skills that make our world more peaceful.
Today, we’re celebrating Meylyn from Georgia, USA as a PenPal Star! She recently participated in The World Through My Eyes to discover the stories of young people around the world through documentary filmmaking. Through Meylyn’s work and other project based learning examples, it’s clear that learning with students from around the world leads to a deeper understanding of a world of peace, empathy, and respect.
When she’s not learning with PenPals, Meylyn is active in quite a few clubs! She participates in the Bucket Brigade, Math Bowl, and Science Club, and it’s no wonder that her favorite class is math.
We asked Meylyn to tell us more about her experience in The World Through My Eyes.
PPS: What has been your favorite thing about learning with PenPals?
Meylyn: I love reading and learning about where my PenPals live. One interesting thing that I have learned about is that where my penpal lives, they don't even have doctors or police officers.
How has your project changed the way you think about the world?
[I learned that] people can survive in different conditions. Not everyone lives in beautiful or even comfortable places. It's made me more aware of how many people are homeless.
Tell us about the final project you decided to publish in the showcase! What did you choose to create, and why? How did you come up with that idea?
One idea that we have is to get Ziploc bags and put things such as gift card, clothing, blankets, tents, etc. to give out to the homeless.
What advice do you have about being a great PenPal?
Some advice I would give is to work hard and never stop believing.
If you could travel anywhere in the world, where would you go and why?
I would love to go to Honduras to visit my uncles, cousins, and family. I've never met them and would love to meet them.
This wasn’t Meylyn’s first experience learning with pen pals on PenPal Schools. In fact, during her project, she recalled information she learned from Protecting the Planet last year!
What goods and services do people in your community need to survive?
Some goods and services people in my community need to survive are food, meat, oil, and water. I harvest vegetables and fruit because I have a garden outside of my house because my mom does a lot of cooking and she has recipes that she makes with fresh fruit because it gives the food a sweet or good taste. My community also has meat. I don't know about you but I like homemade wings and I like to eat ribs with BBQ. Another thing we have is water. We dont get it from my community we get it from different stats. Anoher thing we use is oil or gas for our cars but I use my bike if I want to go somewhere. I dont want to use a lot of oil because if we use too much then there will be no more oil. Also because last year I learned that when people get oil there is a good chance there may be a earthquake because we are going into the ground. That are some good's we have in my community. What do you have in your community?
As Meylyn watched documentary films produced by teenagers around the world with the help of ByKids, she reflected on the stories of people in her own community.
Do displaced people live in your country or in your community? Why are they displaced and what are people doing to help?
Yes, displaced people do live in my community. There are a lot of reasons why there are displaced people in my community for example they might had not been paying there bills, or they got fired of there job, they were just born like that,etc. I sometimes donate money or give money to them so that they can by food or clothes. I see some people give food to them or clothes. That are somethings we do to help displaced people. What do you do to help displaced people?
Congratulations, Meylyn, and thanks for being such a great PenPal! Your students can join Meylyn in The World Through My Eyes, too.