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Rountree students learn about culture, maps from MSU English Language Institute students

Cyrus with MSU student pointing at map


Cyrus White, a second-grader at Rountree Elementary, an IB World School, colors a map of China with a deep shade of blue. He looks up and listens as a Chinese native and Missouri State University student points to her hometown and where she attends school.


“That is really far away,” said Cyrus White.


Cyrus White and other Rountree Elementary second-graders explored maps and geography with students from Missouri State University’s English Language Institute. MSU students from China, South Korea, Mongolia and Saudi Arabia all participated in the culture exchange at Rountree.


“We host a cultural exchange with MSU students from other countries twice a year through a partnership is MSU’s ELI program,” said Nicki Foltz, PYP Coordinator and Library Media Specialist at Rountree Elementary. “Our second-graders are inquiring into geography and navigation and our kindergartners are inquiring into resources and structures of homes, so these intercultural conversations create unit of inquiry connections and offer a more global perspective on what they are learning in the classroom.”

Student examining map with man from Saudi Arabia


A group of MSU students shared with kindergartners about what their houses looked like in their home countries. Rountree kindergartners drew a home familiar to them, while MSU students were able to practice their English language skills with a group of native English speakers.


“This is a great partnership for our students, who are global thinkers,” said Foltz. “And it’s great for our MSU ELI students so that they feel welcome in our school community.”