Educational program connects Frontenac students with classrooms across the nation

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A program at Frank Layden Elementary School in Frontenac is helping students make friends hundreds of miles away.

The Read Aloud Project connects students across the country via Skype. The kids don’t know what school they’ll be paired up with. But, once they find out, it becomes a unique learning experience for everyone involved.

More than 800 miles apart, Frontenac students are connecting with kids across the nation.

“We’re going to be connecting to a class in Michigan and we’re going to have a shared experience, reading the same book and doing some activities with our kids here in Southeast Kansas with kids from other parts of the United States,” explained fourth grade teacher Tim Vesco. “It’s going to be a lot of fun.”

The students initially meet each other over Skype, but they have no idea where in the country the opposite students go to school.

“You go up to the computer and you can say, ‘Does your state border an ocean?’ And they would answer, and then you go back and cross off something on the map,” fourth grader Kinley Minton explained.

Vesco’s fourth grade class matched with a classroom in Grosse Pointe, Michigan. Students are looking forward to making new friends in Great Lakes.

“It’s an opportunity to meet new people,” added fourth grader Caden Russel. “I had a lot of fun doing it with my classmates and I think my classmates had a lot of fun doing it with me and other friends.”

Even though they live states apart, the goal is to get the students to come together through reading and expose them to others outside their world.

“I really want to show our kids the world and give them an opportunity to experience outside of Southeast Kansas, outside of Frontenac, and this is a great way to do that,” said Vesco.

The students will read Front Desk, which highlights the life of a young girl working in her parents’ motel. All of the books were donated through community members and parents.

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