Monday, February 3, 2014

The Value of a Visiting Speaker

As part of their ongoing study of Afghanistan, the 5th Grade was fortunate to welcome Dr. Howard Zucker to our school last week. Dr. Zucker's visit was a real treat for us, as it was the first time the students were able to speak directly with someone who has spent time in the country they've been so busy learning about. While Dr. Zucker is quite accomplished in many regards - he is currently the First Deputy Commisioner of Health for New York State - the topic of his conversation with 5th Grade was his work with women in Afghanistan. Dr. Zucker shared the story of developing The Afghan Family Health Book, a interactive "talking" book designed to help educate illiterate Afghan women on issues of health and nutrition.  Our students, already quite aware of the challenges women in Afghanistan face, were completely taken with Dr. Zucker's stories of his visits to the Asian country and the people he met there, and enjoyed learning firsthand about daily life in Kabul. They spent nearly 40 minutes asking questions of Dr. Zucker, making it clear that their thirst for knowledge about this subject is unquenchable, and reminding me how important it is to give students these sorts of personalized experience whenever possible. 

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