The entire freshman class (both international students and American students) just completed a two-part World Cultures project for the purpose of sparking intercultural friendships and bridging the gap at Ben Lippen School. Students were matched with others who share their lunch sections, and each group had students from the U.S. and one or more students from another country. The groups met to talk and hang out during various study halls last week and then joined each other for lunch on another day.
The written reports on this project, along with the wonderfully diverse lunch selfies, have been a great testament to the open hearts of our students and their willingness to go beyond the project in establishing real cross-cultural connections. Senior Marissa Newell was a huge help during this entire project, as were Boarding Prefects Brian Yu & Terry Kang, and Bridge Prefect Riley Reasons. Many other upperclassmen international students volunteered their time to make sure all of the day students had a chance to meet an international friend. A couple of international students went through the project twice in order to try to meet as many American friends as possible. Mrs. Sarah Lewis, ESL Teacher, and Mr. Will Plunkett, World Cultures and Geography Teacher, worked together to coordinate this project. Mrs. Lewis said that she and Mr. Plunkett “are so encouraged by the results of this project: reports of new friendships, planned cross-cultural hang-outs, hospitality, and a willingness to connect.”