- Union County Public Schools
Western Union Elementary earns state recognition for global education
On Nov. 7, the NC Department of Public Instruction named Western Union Elementary a North Carolina Prepared Global-Ready School, a nod to the school’s dedication and commitment to providing a premiere global education for all of its students. Western Union Elementary is one of only 10 schools in North Carolina, and the second school in Union County, to earn the state’s Global-Ready School distinction.
After completing a rigorous application process, Western Union Elementary was recognized for its commitment to prepare students for the world through sustainable strategic planning, initiating and sustaining local and international partnerships as well as integrating global themes throughout the school’s curriculum.
“Western Union Elementary goes above and beyond to embed global education in the school’s instructional model, and I couldn’t be more proud to see them recognized as a global education leader throughout the state of North Carolina,” said Superintendent Dr. Andrew Houlihan. “Preparing students for the future also includes preparing students to succeed in a global economy. Western Union Elementary is a shining example of what’s going right around global education.”
With a commitment to embedding global education and experiences into its culture and instructional practices, Western Union Elementary students learn through a global lens every day during lessons that regularly extends past their classroom walls.
World language is fostered through students who participate in the school’s Spanish Dual Language Immersion program. Now in its sixth year, and offered to students in kindergarten through fifth grade, Western Union Elementary’s Dual Language Immersion program is one of 17 language immersion programs offered district wide.
All students throughout the school also have the opportunity to participate in an afterschool Spanish club to learn about the Spanish language, a class that teaches students about music from other countries with an emphasis on vocabulary, and Skype sessions with students in schools from other parts of the world.
Each year, students in every grade level learn about a different continent while also addressing the needs of other countries by raising and donating money through global industries and partnerships. Locally, the school works with community partners to help students learn about their environment to greatly enhance the students’ understanding of the world in which they live.
Additionally, Western Union Elementary also extends its global education beyond the school by hosting a global fair for parents and community members.
A strong schoolwide global education program relies heavily on the commitment of school staff, and Western Union Elementary teachers regularly participate in a number of professional development sessions to increase their own global knowledge.
“I am excited that the hard work that my teachers are doing is being recognized. I really feel like Western Union is willing to step out and embrace things that are difficult in order to prepare our students for the future,” Western Union Elementary Principal Kristi Williford said. “Being globally educated and prepared is very important and the teachers have embraced it and are really working to make this happen throughout the entire school.”
From leading-edge language instruction to global and local community partnerships, Western Union Elementary offers a comprehensive global experience that prepares every student to succeed in an interconnected and interdependent world.