Kliptown Youth Program & eSibonisweni, South Africa
In 2000, Director of Global and Special Programs Jenny Getz met with a few teachers and administrators from eSibonisweni Primary School, which serves a large area in rural northeast South Africa (KwaZulu province), about five hours from Durban. Their conversation that day explored the idea of a relationship between our two schools that, while partly philanthropic in nature, could grow into an educational partnership, with joint curriculum units and teachers at the two schools serving as resources for each other.
We also saw the potential for a three-way partnership linking Mark Day School, the urban KYP, and rural eSibonisweni. We are happy to note that tutors from KYP now serve as mentors for teachers at eSibonisweni. KYP's location in Johannesburg and its hard-won international recognition have meant access to greater educational and technology resources, which they are in turn sharing with eSibonisweni.
Beijing No. 2 Experimental School (Er Xiao), Beijing
Since 2008, we have arranged for faculty exchanges with Beijing Experimental Primary School #2. Teachers and administrators from both schools have had an opportunity to closely observe teaching and learning in a different context, and our Mandarin program has benefited from having native speakers in addition to our teachers visit the classroom. In spring 2014, the first group of Mark Day students visited our Beijing partners.
Pan-American School, Costa Rica
The Pan-American School (PAS) in Heredia, Costa Rica, accepted our invitation to partner in 2013. In PAS, we have found a school with values similar to ours and another avenue for linguistic and cultural discovery. Our first delegation of students and teachers visited PAS in February 2014, enjoying home stays and immersing themselves in the language and culture of our hosts. September 2014 marked the first delegation visit from PAS. Exchange students are in 7th and 8th grade, and each delegation spends time with students in the lower grades, so the whole community shares in the experience.