• Published February 2, 2023

    Students at Fairview Elementary are traveling the world without leaving their community with the help of the International Travelers Project.

    Each semester, FES students get the opportunity to learn about a new country and create a project showcasing their research. The International Travelers Project started as the International Lunch Bunch roughly nine years ago.

    "The purpose is not only to expose our students to places around the world, but also to let our students who come from or have heritage from other places know that we appreciate them," said Tiffany Wilson-Mobley, who is an English as a Second Language (ESL) teacher at FES, Fairview Middle and Fairview High.

    This year, Wilson-Mobley and her fellow FES teacher Kristi Smithson took students on a trip to Uganda with the help of Dr. Marilyn Webb, previous interim assistant principal at Fairview Elementary.

    "If we have people in our community who can give a presentation, that's great," said Wilson-Mobley. "Dr. Webb had gone to Uganda and worked with the children there, so she was the perfect person to do a presentation for the kids. She brought in artifacts and talked to the children. It was awesome."

    After the introduction of the country, students were given a project menu to select an assignment from if they wished to participate. Each project included a research portion and a creative portion. Students could create an Uganda flag puzzle, make a model house and more.

    "We try to make it very user-friendly," said Wilson-Mobley. "It's all about the research and the work you put into it, not the final product."

    Because Webb will be traveling back to Uganda, all students also had the opportunity to write a letter to a child in Uganda for Webb to take with her. Nearly 100 letters were written by students.

    "Our goal was 80 letters," said Wilson-Mobley. "We put out templates and gave them an example of the letter, and there was only a three-day turnaround for them to write these notes. This was one step further than our projects have gone in the past."

    Although the location has not been announced just yet, Wilson-Mobley says she is looking forward to this semester's country and thinks students are going to enjoy the next project.

    "It's a lot of extra time, but it's so worth it," Wilson-Mobley said. "Students are teaching other children through these projects, so they are excited that they get to be in the role of a teacher. They're anticipating the next country, and they want to know what's next."