Cultural Understanding, One Bear at a Time

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In addition to his work at school, Oreo will be visiting the homes of prep-one students. Photographs by Cecilia Eppler

Gilman’s Lower School has a Taiwanese visitor this year. In the fall, the Prep-One class exchanged teddy bears with Shihyung School in Taiwan’s Pingtung District.

The relationship between the two schools is now in its third year, however, this is the first year that the exchange involves Gilman’s Prep-One boys. The boys have enjoyed learning about their new friends on the other side of the globe. Through videos and photographs of daily life in class, a journal recording their life at home, Facebook and Skype sessions the students have learned about Taiwanese culture, school and family life.

Students sent a bear named Baloo to Shihyung School, in a box filled with American books, treats, letters and drawings of friendship. In exchange they received Oreo, a Formosan bear that is native to Taiwan. Oreo arrived with many gifts as well, including books in Chinese and treats.

RPCS exchange student Helen Chang teaches Chinese numbers to the Prep-One class. Photographs by Cecilia Eppler

RPCS student Helen Cheng, an international student from China who is hosted by one of Gilman’s teachers, visited the Prep-One class to read from the books and teach Chinese words to the boys.

The Shihyung cultural exchange is one of many activities in Gilman’s Lower School designed to expand boys’ understanding of the world with engaging, hands on curriculum.

Visit this spring to learn more about Gilman! Prospective Parent Visiting for the 2018-19 school year is on April 25 (Lower School) or April 26 (Middle and Upper School). Learn more and register here.

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