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The 100,000 Strong in the Americas Innovation Fund has awarded a $25,000 grant to Salem State University and the University of Guanajuato to fund an exchange program between the two institutions.
The grant will fully fund a week-long educational trip to Guanajuato’s campus in Mexico in March 2020 for eight Salem State education students and, in turn, fund a second week-long trip to Salem State’s campus for eight Guanajuato students in June of next year.
Salem State’s assistant provost for global engagement Julie Whitlow wrote the proposal for the Innovation Fund’s Mary Street Jenkins Innovation Competition with the future of Massachusetts public schools and their teachers in mind.
Whitlow said, “The northeast of Massachusetts educates students in public schools who are increasingly from Spanish-speaking households and identify as Hispanic or Latinx. It is, therefore, imperative that teachers in Massachusetts understand the Spanish language and have a broad understanding of Hispanic cultural practices and values.”
Salem State students who enroll in two specific education courses, Culturally Responsive Teaching or its graduate counterpart Diversity Needs in Contemporary Classrooms, in the 2020 spring semester are eligible to apply for the foreign exchange trip. Priority will also be given to students who have previously studied Spanish and to those who may not have the opportunity to study abroad otherwise.
While in Mexico, Salem State students will attend classes at the university, take part in seminars and sightseeing excursions to destinations that may include El Paso de la Presa, Museo Iconográfico de Quijote, or Teatro Juárez.
The grant is funded by the Mary Street Jenkins Foundation and came to fruition through the 100,000 Strong in the Americas Innovation Fund. The initiative is designed to increase partnerships between higher education institutions in the United States and the rest of the Western Hemisphere.