Trotting the Globe One Classroom at a Time

Students Take a Taste of Different Countries and Cultures

Sawyer Hoff and Violet Jangraw carry their passports to another country

It was only one day, but these kids traveled all over the world.

They went to Russia, South Africa, Lithuania and Denmark, sampling their foods, games and even dancing with Shakira, thanks to Globe Trotter Day at Roguewood Elementary School. The annual educational/cultural tour came courtesy of teachers and parents who volunteered many hours to set up colorful classroom displays and help students experience the wider world.

“Even though there’s different cultures, kids are kind of the same,” said Principal Doug Hoogerland, who began the event some 15 years ago at Crestwood Elementary. “But we are different, and that isn’t a bad thing.”

Doing Danish crafts are, clockwise from bottom left, Grace Bergeron, Ellie Gardner, Ryder Cliff, Jack Bartish and parent helper Amy Vancil
Doing Danish crafts are, clockwise from bottom left, Grace Bergeron, Ellie Gardner, Ryder Cliff, Jack Bartish and parent helper Amy Vancil

Students toted passports to and from classrooms that were transformed into different countries amid flag-draped hallways. In Denmark, they munched on Danish pebernodder cookies, played Legos and read Hans Christian Andersen books donated by the Roguewood PTO.

“I love it, because I myself get to learn about the country, something I would have never done on my own,” said Tania Gordon, PTO president, who led the Denmark room. “I also have a lot of fun with the kids, watching them learn.”

Her children are in Roguewood’s Spanish Immersion program, which gives the school a global glow at all times.

“I love how one language is very similar to the other languages,” she added. “It’s a great opportunity.”

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Roguewood Elementary School

Charles Honey
Charles Honey is a freelance writer and former columnist for The Grand Rapids Press/ MLive.com. As a reporter for The Press from 1985 to 2009, his beats included Grand Rapids Public Schools, local colleges and education issues. Honey served as editor of The Press’ award-winning Religion section for 15 years. His freelance articles have appeared in Christianity Today magazine, Religion News Service and the Aquinas College alumni magazine. Read Charles' full bio.

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