With the idea of immersing young children to multicultural environments at an early age, the American Turkish Friendship Council established a new educational and cultural initiative. The aim is to increase the awareness of Turkish history and culture to K through 12 students in Atlanta, Georgia. The knowledge gained will give these students a broadened outlook on world cultures, which will benefit them as they move into a world where cultural boundaries are progressively blurred.
This project is coordinated in collaboration with the Turkish Student Organization (TSO) at Georgia Institute of Technology and students from Georgia State and Emory Universities. The Best Kept Secret is supported by the Office of Tourism and Culture at the Turkish Embassy in Washington D.C. We are fortunate to have a large number of students from Turkey who are eager to share their time to inform students in the United States. These students are excellent representatives of Turkey and are outstanding role models for the American students who will participate.
The theme of the program is: Turkey: the Best Kept Secret!
The lack of awareness of Turkey in the United States is a fact that needs attention. We believe that this can be addressed by a program that is taught by college students who are close in age to young students and in a format that will be fun and will differ from regular classroom instruction. The programs consist of quiz games, short films, promotional videos, food, music, and brochures. We also plan to incorporate programs, which will create a sustained interest in Turkey such as newsletters, pen-pal programs, and possible student exchange programs. Additionally, parents can be brought into the program with evening Turkish cooking classes and Turkish movie night.
Presentations have already been made to over 600 students at Sutton Middle School, Westminster High School, and Georgia Institute of Technology. Our aim is to visit 4 to 5 schools each academic year. In the long term, we believe this program will be a positive influence on a large group of people who will have a greater appreciation for Turkish history and culture. We also believe that as we refine the elements of the program that other Turkish student organizations across the country can institute similar programs.
Fri, Jan 23, 2015