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PACE grants sending staff abroad this summer
Posted 04/25/2017 11:07AM

Professional and Community Enrichment (PACE) Grants provide annual support for staff members to pursue unusual and rich opportunities. Begun in 2005 through the initiative and support of a donor family, these grants have since been embraced and continued by the School. Examples of past projects include an exploration of social entrepreneurship in Sub-Saharan Africa, an immersion into the community of Makers and Maker Labs around the country, and a trek across Mongolia on horseback. This year's recipients are both from the Middle School, teacher/media specialist Mig Little Hayes and teacher Kathy Lucente. Read below to learn more about their projects, which they'll embark on this summer.


Mig Hayes| Documenting Newfoundland: Discovering a Culture of Kindness

Mig, what led you to pursue this experience?

I have always been interested in migrations of people from Western Europe, especially Ireland and Scotland. I spent six summers on the west coast of Ireland and two years ago went to Nova Scotia — a place where many Scots have immigrated to over many years. The last undiscovered place for me was Newfoundland, the easternmost point in North America. I was curious about the description of the Newfoundlanders in many travel books as "some of the friendliest people in the world." Since the first settlements on the island, with harsh winters and inaccessibility, the locals have had to rely on the kindness of neighbors for sheer survival. I wondered how a society cultivates a culture of benevolence that has been sustained for many years. What can we Americans learn from these generous people on a remote Canadian island, especially at a time when our national civil discourse has lost its heart? Then, I heard about the Gander, NL residents on 9/11. They opened their homes, restaurants, shops and hearts to traumatized travelers (rerouted from US airspace). The Day the World Came to Town chronicles this extraordinary, openhearted event that touched the lives of so many. I look forward to spending time with Newfoundlanders and documenting their lives in film.

In what ways will this connect to your past experiences?

This allows me to come full circle in my exploration of emigrants from Ireland and Scotland.

How do you envision this enriching your personal teaching experience and the greater Middle School and CFS communities through your work?

I am an amateur videographer and I am thrilled to be able to make a documentary about the people, land and culture of Newfoundland. My husband, Michael, will be going with me, and he has extensive tech experience, so we will be working together to film and edit. As the lead teacher of the iMovie projects that all the Middle School 4th years do, I will be able to bring so much back to my classes in terms of technique and storytelling.

This is an incredible opportunity!


Kathy Lucente: Study Visit to Nicaragua and Costa Rica with UNC's World View

Kathy, what led you to pursue this experience, and what is UNC's World View?

As one who's lived in many places, and who loves encountering new cultures and environments, I enjoy thinking of myself, at least in spirit, as a citizen of the wider world. After attending several conferences organized by World View, I decided to take the next step and immerse myself in another culture through study abroad. World View creates such trips, with the mission of providing global education learning opportunities so that teachers can better prepare their students to live in a diverse and interconnected world. I greatly value such first hand experiences, which I can bring to my teaching. This July I'll be participating in a nine day trip to Costa Rica and Nicaragua.

In what ways will this connect to your past experiences?

Over my 25 years of teaching, I've taught students from places all over the world, including Central America, Puerto Rico, and Cuba. When I taught in California I studied Spanish so I could better communicate with my students and their families.  

How do you envision this enriching your personal teaching experience and the greater Middle School and CFS communities through your work?

Since joining the First Year Block teaching team, I've enjoyed putting in place ideas of my "E Pluribus Unum" course predecessors, as well as trying out some of my own. My current project, which I initiated as a Teacher in Review, is a unit on modern immigration with a focus on Hispanic Americans. The unit, which I will continue to explore and refine, connects with my interests, teaching ambitions, and my desire to more deliberately incorporate into our curriculum current events that relate to today's immigrants. I'm extremely grateful to be given this opportunity by CFS, and I look forward to discovering all the ways it will enrich my work and my life.

A view of the coast of Newfoundland by Kris Griffon.

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Carolina Friends School          
4809 Friends School Road
Durham, NC 27705
919.383.6602 tel / 919.383.6009 fax / info@cfsnc.org

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