JUNE 13, 2018

Celebrating Community Action, Global Connections

Buffalo Schools Culmination Event_2 Smiling Students

Global Scholars Buffalo  welcomed 200 to year-end event

BUFFALO, NY. While exploring their school’s food environment earlier this year, middle school students at Dr. Lydia T. Wright School of Excellence—P.S. 89 in Buffalo, NY—noticed that there were few sources of healthy food nearby, and that some students couldn’t identify benefits of eating fresh fruits and vegetables. Across town at P.S. 81, students conducted a survey of food waste and were surprised to see how much good, healthy food was thrown away daily at their school. At Herman Badillo Bilingual Academy P.S. 76, students discussed the difficulties of growing food year-round in the northeastern Buffalo climate.

So each class took action.

These problems and solutions came into focus last Wednesday, June 6, at the Culmination Program for Global Scholars Buffalo, in which students from eight Buffalo middle schools showed off their Community Action Projects.

Buffalo_food waste infographic.png
  • P.S. 89 planned a school community garden, won a grant from Whole Kids Foundation for seeds and materials, and built it to grow healthy produce and educate the community. Now they will partner with the Buffalo Farm to School program to deliver fresh garden food directly to school cafeterias. (Scroll down to see their video!)
  • P.S. 81 wrote a cookbook to offer families—and the school cafeteria—delicious ways to prevent food waste. Carrots alone could become carrot chips, carrot soup, or glazed carrots. The Home Economics class demonstrated another option, converting ripe bananas to banana oatmeal muffins to serve at the Culmination Event.
  • P.S. 79 envisioned a school community garden with a self-watering innovation that could run year-round and use water wisely. 

"It was a showcase of what students have learned and accomplished this year in Global Scholars," said Pamela Littere, Instructional Technology Coach at Buffalo Public Schools. "The teachers and students did a wonderful job sharing their experiences with the many students, parents, school leaders, teachers, and community members who attended the event."  

"In future I could use
what I learned in Global Scholars
by helping to stop food waste."
Global Scholar, Buffalo

Buffalo is one of 64 cities participating in Global Scholars worldwide, allowing students ages 10 through 13 to connect with one another and to share projects and observations as they follow a shared curriculum. This year's theme was Feeding Our Cities. Students study global issues that affect all cities, such as food security and access to clean water, and the final Community Action Project lets them see that their actions make a difference.

"In the future I could use what I learned in Global Scholars by helping to stop food waste," said one Buffalo student. "I could plant my own food. Also, I could travel easier since I know a little about other countries in the world."

A highlight of Wednesday's Culmination Program was a live Skype chat with Global Scholars from Seoul, South Korea. Details such as time of day, what's for lunch, and today's weather become magical when shared with peers halfway across the world. Throughout the year, most of the interaction in Global Scholars is digital. Students post projects and ideas to the e-classroom and comment on the work of their international peers, learning to use English in a formal online setting, to communicate respectfully, and to share opinions and digital-project tips. In turn, they receive first-hand reports on a thrilling range of cities and perspectives.

VIDEO: Global Scholars at P.S. 89 in Buffalo document their journey from idea to school community garden.

"The most important thing I have learned about ways of life around the world through Global Scholars is that everyone is different and unique," said a Buffalo student, "and to accept another person's culture."


Find out more about the link between global digital education and student learning outcomes.