Thursday, February 5, 2009
Summer program in Belize for teachers who have money.
College Planning Summer Teacher Institute in Belize on July 3-12
In light of five successful Summer Teacher Institutes in Belize, SUNY Cortland is planning another program from July 3-12 that will bring teachers back to that Central American country for a unique learning experience.
Since 2004, SUNY Cortland's International Programs Office has arranged for 53 American teachers, administrators, college faculty members and college students to visit Belize for a two-week Summer Institute in Environmental Studies and Culture.
This year's summer institute, hosted by the Chaa Creek Eco Resort, is a three-credit graduate course. The application deadline is Monday, March 16, and scholarships are available. Participation is limited to 10 participants and acceptance will be on a first-come, first-served basis.
The institute is open to individuals currently in teaching and administrative positions as well as those working toward their master's degree in education or a related field, which offers a unique professional development opportunity to work together with their Belizean counterparts. Participants are involved in a variety of hands-on experiences, active participation in field research and ongoing collaboration with individuals in the educational field.
"One of the benefits that many American students mention as the most valuable of the program are the new friendships they made with the Belizean teachers," said Gail Tooker, director of the institute and teacher of science and environmental education in the Childhood/Early Childhood Education Department at SUNY Cortland. "Many of the teachers have plans for ongoing joint projects, like having the children in their classes become pen pals."
The program focuses on ancient Mayan civilization, archaeology, eco-tourism, conservation and the rainforest. Participants take related excursions and view presentations by local experts in the environmental field and take in cultural experiences and events. Though most of the program takes place at Chaa Creek, located near the Guatemalan border, the group also makes trips to smaller neighboring towns, including a visit to the world famous Belize Zoo.
Belize, formerly British Honduras, is a small country in Central America that is politically stable and has English as its first language. About the size of Massachusetts, Belize, with approximately 273,000 citizens, is sparsely populated compared to neighboring countries.
For more information or to register for this summer's institute, contact Ann Marshall, International Programs Office, at (607) 753-2209.
Falconview Adventure Hostel for budget accomodations in Western Belize http://folkmusicfl.tripod.com/adventuresinbelize
Wester Belize newsletter and photos http://westernbelizehappenings.blogspot.com