RainForest ArtLink is Creative Connections’ spring-based international exchange program designed for grades 3 to 12 interested in this award winning program. Classes in the United States connect with a similar class (age and grade level) in the heart of the Guatemalan or Brazilian Rainforests. Partner classes create and exchange art. Students then examine the art, gaining new insights into both their own and their partner’s culture. All partner classes participate in live videoconferences, sharing insights with one another. Given the rainforest location of the partnerships, the dialogue focuses on the vital connection between environment and culture.
See below a slideshow depicting our videoconferences facilitated during 2015-16:
Rainforest ArtLink’s student-based learning model reinforces classroom instruction in social studies, Spanish language, science and the arts. Additionally, students build bridges with their peers, which promotes global competency and greater cultural understanding. Program curricula is delivered through lesson plans (available in English and Spanish) provided to each participant class. The unique partnerships that are formed through these exchanges serve to broaden world views – not just for students, but teachers and parents as well.
Student participants gain global competency by:
- Being introspective about the environment and cultural inter-dependency of complex ecosystems
- Discovering the power of art to convey ideas
- Attaining a new perspective into their own culture
- Expanding their awareness, understanding and appreciation of the lives of their peers living in another country
- Learning cross-cultural communication skills through written and video exchanges
- Understanding concepts such as “sustainability” from their interaction with primary source materials and real peers who live in rainforest areas
2017 partner classes will come from:
Guatemala (the Petén, rainforest region)
Brazil (Pan-Amazonian region)
Costa Rica (Pacific region)
Case 1: The experiences of paired 2015 RainForest ArtLink classes from Greenwich, Connecticut, USA.
Case 2: The experiences of paired 2015 RainForest ArtLink classes from Uaxactún, Petén, Guatemala.
September – December 2016: Teacher and Administrators apply of the program
January 2017: Program launch and Introductory Workshop
March 2017: Submit art work (Friday, March 17th)
April 2017: Processing the Art (At Creative Connections)
May 2017: Receive partners’ art and International Children’s Art Portfolio
May/June 2017: Live videoconference with partner class
December 2017: Fall/Winter International Children’s Art Exhibit (live and online)
An introductory workshop delivered in your classroom (for local classes) or via videoconference
An energized, motivated partner art class located in the rainforest of Guatemala, Brazil or Costa Rica
Teacher handbook (delivered online) with comprehensive program guidelines and lesson plans
Our office staff, always available, for advice over the course of the exchange.
A thoughtful set of art produced for your class by your partners.
Our annual International Children’s Art Portfolio featuring art from many of our partner countries
CulturExchangeOnline.org, our partner teacher networking platform
All overseas shipping (via DHL)
Translation and facilitation services
Videoconferencing facilitation right in the classroom (for local classes) or remotely.