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Paul D. Coverdell World Wise Schools

Paul D. Coverdell World Wise Schools

Building Bridges for Young Learners

A Guide to Cross-Cultural Understanding for Pre-Kindergarten Through Grade 4.


The lessons in this guide will:

  • Help students understand that people are more similar than different.
  • Help develop an understanding of the world beyond students' own communities.
  • Help students understand that everyone has a culture that shapes how we see the world, ourselves, and others.
  • Help students develop a sense of empathy and common humanity.
  • Help students appreciate that they play a critical part in their family, their community, and their world.

Why Culture-Related Lessons?

Children want and need to learn about themselves and the world around them. Understanding and investigating their own culture and that of others facilitates cooperation with those of different backgrounds, fosters relationships, and empowers children to see themselves as global citizens.

Who Is This Guide For?

This guide is designed for easy adaptation by teachers in pre-kindergarten through grade 4.

What is the Peace Corps' Role?

In 1961, President John F. Kennedy launched the Peace Corps to promote understanding between the predominant culture in the United States and cultures around the world—in addition to providing assistance to developing countries.

Since then, almost 200,000 Americans have lived and served overseas in more than 130 countries. With its cumulative experience and its ongoing mission, the Peace Corps is uniquely positioned to offer lessons that promote cultural understanding. 

Credits and Acknowledgments

Coverdell World Wise Schools wishes to especially acknowledge the efforts of Elizabeth Crawford, Ph.D. and Nancy Luke, Ph.D. who contributed significantly to the lessons in this workbook. 

In addition, Coverdell World Wise Schools appreciates the feedback provided by the faculty and staff of Savannah, Georgia’s St. Andrew’s Lower School including: Jo Lamas, Donna Cantrell, Judy Domnitz, Stacey Haskell, Anne Flemming, Carol Gray, Beth Adams, Laura Pizzo, Nancy Beckmann, Emily Kiene, Pamela Conner, Ed.D., Susie Stubbs, Joanna Coe, Dianne Lee, Nancy Easterlin, Miki Duval, Emily Calhoun, Jan Bugos, Kathy McCarthy, Diana Solomon.