World Heritage Education Program - Andrew Jackson School

On May 4-6th, the Education Working Group launched a World Heritage Education Program at Andrew Jackson School, a public school in South Philadelphia.

Prior to the event, staff from the University of Pennsylvania’s South East Asia and Middle East centers trained participating teachers on how to effectively implement lesson plans specific to world regions. Trainers facilitated this session using the Philadelphia World Heritage Toolkit—a workbook consisting of 35 lesson plans related to World Heritage studies and global education for K-12 grade. Utilizing these resources, teachers created new learning experiences for students in their classrooms. Through this opportunity, students were able to explore the unique history of their city and learned about Japanese and Turkish traditions from native speakers.

At the kick-off event, Rolando Barbon, a high school student from Franklin Learning Center, performed a rap he created saluting the diverse neighborhoods of Philadelphia. Sylvie Gallier Howard, Chief of Staff of the Office of the Director of Commerce, shared how we became a World Heritage City and discussed the importance of heritage. On the second day of the program, 6-8th grade students visited international exhibits at the Franklin Institute Science Museum, Penn Museum, and Philadelphia Art Museum.

During the finale, students presented reflections on their cultural heritage and performers shared music and dance items representative of East Asia, Latin America, the Middle East, and Philadelphia’s rich jazz legacy. While this program generated fun and meaningful experiences for students, we hope students gained a deeper understanding of their cultural value as well as their role in the larger world. We endeavor to raise funds to replicate this experience for students attending under-resourced schools in marginalized neighborhoods.