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EDUCATIONAL VISIT TO JAPAN – Southeastern
Louisiana University Lab School seventh grade teacher Heidi Rhea and one
of her students, Castle Crawford, look over gifts that Lab School students
made for students and teachers in Japan. Rhea is one of 200 teachers nationally
who have been selected to spend three weeks in Japan Nov. 14-Dec. 3 through
the Fulbright Memorial Fund Teacher Program.
LAB SCHOOL TEACHER SELECTED FOR
THREE-WEEK EDUCATION VISIT TO JAPAN
HAMMOND – Southeastern Louisiana University
Laboratory School teacher Heidi Rhea traveled to Japan last Sunday (Nov.
14) bearing gifts from the school to teachers and students in Japan.
She is one of 200 teachers from throughout
the country selected for a three-week educational visit to the Asian island
nation under the auspices of the Fulbright Memorial Fund Teacher Program.
The program was established nine years ago by the Japanese government to
honor the Fulbright Program, the United State’s venerable international
“It is awesome and exciting to have
been chosen,” said Rhea, who teaches seventh grade at the lab school. “I
am looking forward to learning more about the culture, history and education
system and to bringing back what I learn to my classroom and community.”
“Setting the standard for excellence
is our goal,” said Diane Allen, dean of the College of Education and Human
Development. “We are honored that the Fulbright program recognizes the
excellence of one of our teachers. Sharing her experiences abroad and with
another culture will certainly benefit our students as well.”
After a week’s stay in Tokyo, Rhea
and 19 other teachers will travel to Yamatokoriyama, a city about an hour
from Osaka in the prefecture, or state, of Nara. There, she will stay with
a Japanese family.
“I particularly asked to be placed with a family that has children,
since I’m a grandmother,” she said. “The family I’m staying with has three.”
In Yamatokoriyama, Rhea will visit
elementary, middle and high schools, along with a university, industries
and cultural sites.
“I will be taking gifts to all of them.
I’ve gotten good at asking for freebies,” Rhea said. She has gathered give-aways
from the Louisiana Department of Tourism and other sources and is also
taking a special gift, “A Penny for Your Thoughts,” from lab school students.
Each student has personalized a small cutout of Louisiana with a message
and a penny.
Rhea is also bringing along a small
stuffed Southeastern lion named “Louie Z. Anna.” She plans to place Louie
front and center in all of her photographs.
That is just one of the methods she
will use to share her adventure with her 26 seventh graders, who have been
preparing for the trip along with her by creating bulletin boards and studying
about Japan. She will keep in touch with them through a daily e-mail diary
online and has scheduled a videoconference for sixth-eighth graders from
Tokyo on Nov. 19. In January, she will host a “Jumping into Japanese” family
night for students and their parents.