Coed, independent, PK3-12th grade school in St. Petersburg, Florida.

Appreciating Global Connections

by Nancy L. Spencer, Head of School
Shorecrest students value their role as global citizens. Our school has a strong history of students and families embracing international opportunities, both as hosting visitors and as serving as ambassadors of the school and country abroad. In addition, we are fortunate to have families who are citizens of other countries choose to be a part of the Shorecrest community. 

We recently welcomed five Argentinian students to Shorecrest, a tradition which dates back to 2004. These Middle and Lower Schoolers traveled with their families to St. Petersburg and spent two weeks embedded into the life of Shorecrest. Each student was matched up with a host, and these children were quick to establish connections. Through time spent together, they were able to discover and embrace the similarities and differences between their cultures and nationalities. 

I was lucky to sit in on a presentation by one of our visitors in Sra. Melanie Jarvis’s Middle School Spanish class. We learned about a fifth grader’s daily life in Mendoza. We saw pictures of the Argentinian countryside, discovered that penguins live there, how to drink yerba mate through a metal straw, and tried to wrap our heads around the concept that the seasons are reversed; summer is in December and January, while July and August are the coldest months of the year in Argentina.  

Our Argentinian visitors are part of the Global Explorers program, organized by Lower School Spanish teacher Emili Jaime-Allwood. The mission of the Global Explorers program is to create a global mindset in our students by appreciating and understanding the world cultures and their place in the global community and empowering themselves to make a difference in the world. Global Explorers provides enrichment opportunities for Shorecrest students both in and outside of the classroom. While a number of the programs have been on hold in recent times due to COVID, we are delighted to be embarking on steps to bring back international experiences. 

In the past, in addition to hosting visitors from Argentina, we have hosted international students from France, Spain, El Salvador and Mexico. There have been opportunities for students to travel to Spanish and French speaking countries for language immersion and cultural experiences. Our hope is to reestablish these trips, as health and safety conditions allow. 

Inside the classroom, Shorecrest  participates in the Global Links Project, a network created by two exchange coordinators  -- Emili Jaime-Allwood from Shorecrest and Laura García from our Sister school, Colegios Ramón y Cajal in Madrid Spain. Using this website, teachers are able to connect with schools around the world. Schools in Global Links know each other and provide students with curricular opportunities to work together. Students have the chance to learn with and from their peers who live in different cultures and learn in diverse educational environments. This ability to communicate cross-culturally is an important 21st century skill for our Shorecrest Chargers to develop. It differentiates our students in today’s world and provides unique opportunities for their education. 

Whether it is gathering to celebrate and participate in the International Day of Peace or making new friends from around the globe, Shorecrest students embrace the world and value a global perspective. Parents/guardians have the opportunity to get to know and get involved with our international community at the International Connections Coffee on Thursday, October 7 at 8:30am in the Ohana Community Room of Charger Commons. All are welcome!

All the best, 
Nancy

Shorecrest Preparatory School

5101 First Street Northeast
St Petersburg, FL 33703
Phone: (727) 522-2111  |  Fax: (727) 527-4191
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Shorecrest Preparatory School is a private, non-sectarian, coeducational, college preparatory day school for students preschool through high school, located in St. Petersburg, Florida.