Initiative to Grow Global Elementary Education (IGGEE)

Investing in education today
will pay dividends tomorrow

Ensure America’s continuous prosperity through global education

“Clearly we need to use education to advance tolerance and understanding. Perhaps more than ever, international understanding is essential to world peace – understanding between faiths, between nations, between cultures… We need each other – as friends, as allies, as partners – in a struggle for common values and common needs.” UN Secretary-General, Kofi Annan

“…people who understand and know each other better are less likely to hate and attack each other. And that requires a certain faith in human character, a faith without which no human progress could be achieved. “, Madeleine K. Albright, Former Secretary of State

“America’s leadership and national security rest on our commitment to educate and prepare our youth for active engagement in the international community.”, George W. Bush President United States

“I call on schools, teachers, students, parents, and community leaders to promote understanding of our nations and cultures by encouraging our young people to participate in activities that increase their knowledge of and appreciation for global issues, languages, history, geography, literature, and the arts of other countries.” George W. Bush President United States

You are invited to support the launch of the innovative Initiative to Grow Global Elementary Education (IGGEE), pronounced iggy.

IGGEE is designed to educate elementary age children in the areas of globalism and globalization. Through the simple and creative use of toys and visual aids, children will see the practical side of today’s international marketplace.

The Need

According to National Center for Education Statistics, “Growth in education has historically been an important source of growth in worker productivity.”

Industrialized countries showing the highest productivity levels tend to have highly educated work forces. The productivity level of these countries generally parallels their academic standards.

With this understanding we have the ability to provide positive programs in order to ensure the success of the next generation. This generation will be prepared to accept the challenges of the global market. According to CorpWatch:

51 of the 100 largest economies in the world are corporations. The Top 500 multinational corporations account for nearly 70 percent of the worldwide trade; this percentage has steadily increased over the past twenty years.

The employees these firms are hiring must have the critical knowledge necessary to succeed. Beyond knowledge, they need to develop cultural adaptability, that is, and ability to accept and respect other cultures and lifestyles. According to a Report from National Council for the Social Studies Task Force on Early Childhood/Elementary Social Studies:

“Children are more open to diversity in the early elementary years than in later years (Stone 1986). A fourth grader, for instance, is more likely to express interest in studying and visiting foreign countries than an eighth grader. “

“Interest in and analysis of racial and ethnic differences begins early. Between the ages of six and nine, children begin to identify their own racial group as “better than the out-group” (Semaj 1980, 76).”

“Acquisition of concepts about racial and ethnic groups is complex, but there is evidence that early, planned, and structured activities can result in improving positive attitudes in children (Katz 1976, 234).”

“Elementary age children are already well aware of societal attitudes toward different groups (e.g., housing patterns, dating, and marriage mores). Research also indicates that elementary children can think critically about these patterns where they have sufficient experience and active involvement in discussion and inquiry (Ragan and McAulay 1973).”

The IGGEE program will contribute to skills development and social discourse which are so important in these formative years. These skills and the ability to interact globally will help prepare the next generation to face the world.

The Plan

With the needs and goals identified, Polonia Global Fund offers a solution. The IGGEE Program is designed to teach children, about simple global interaction and economics. The lessons will consist of using toys, such as Lego’s (Denmark), Teletubbies (Great Britain), Rubik’s Cube (Hungary), Pokemon (Japan) to explain global cultures and give examples of family life leading students to a realization of their interconnectedness.

In the lesson plan, we will include information on how toys are made; talk about the workers and their families; and relate them to the children’s lives. We will put emphasis on the peoples, customs, mores, and stories from the countries of origin.

In addition to hands-on lessons provided in an after school setting, PGF is also planning an interactive E-learning initiative and will provide a complete lesson plan, helping instructors throughout the United States to teach on the same level. Internet technologies make it possible for students in many locations to interact and actively participate on a global level.

Through this program, children will understand how purchases their parents make affect people worldwide. The hope is to expand both their concept of the world and of commerce beyond the local toy store.