Fox Lane High School Celebrates Top AFS School Award

Larasati Tanjung, AFS YES Abroad Student from Indonesia, and Jessica Greenstein, AFS-USA’s Community Outreach Specialist at Fox Lane’s Multicultural Week.

Fox Lane High School in Bedford, New York, has been selected as one of 79 schools to receive the “2014 Top AFS School” Award from AFS-USA. Schools recognized for this award have partnered with the organization to promote global citizenship through intercultural learning — both inside and outside of the classroom. These schools are committed to preparing our youth to engage in an increasingly interconnected, global economy. From hosting international students, sending students abroad to working with the organization to incorporate intercultural learning in the curriculum, these educators demonstrate the importance of fostering global competency in their students. You can view the entire list of Top Schools at www.afsusa.org/educators, and a link to the article that appeared in the Bedford Daily Voice here: http://bedford.dailyvoice.com/schools/exchange-student-group-names-bedfords-fox-lane-top-afs-school.

Over the years, Fox Lane High School has hosted AFS students and sent students abroad. The school also has an active AFS Club that fundraises to provide scholarships for students to study abroad. The school has also hosted numerous orientations for the local AFS E-Z Pass Area Team.

Fox Lane High School Principal, Dr. Joel Adelberg, was presented with the award by AFS staff member, Jessica Greenstein, and current AFS YES Abroad student, Larasati Tanjung from Indonesia. Dr. Adelberg remarked that “of all the ways a school can be honored for its work, I consider our nomination as a top AFS school to be a truly top honor. I can’t think of anything more significant than teaching students about the interconnectedness of our world.”

The award coincided with the school’s Multi-Cultural Week which celebrates diversity through an entire week of ethnic foods, music, dance, and special presentations-including one by Jessica Greenstein and Larasati Tanjung to a number of World Language classes throughout the day. AFS Club and various language clubs lead the way in planning and organizing the week. Fox Lane’s AFS Club has an active group of 12-15 members-many who emigrated to the United States from other countries including Peru, Mexico, China and India, and who already recognize and value the importance of intercultural learning.

This past December, Typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines became the impetus for an AFS Club/Writing Club co-sponsored “Writing Up a Storm” event- a holiday card writing campaign and fundraiser that produced 500 student and faculty handmade cards and $1500 in donations. “Our Fox Lane community wanted to wrap collective arms around the victims of this terrible typhoon by sending heartfelt words of love and support,” described AFS Club advisor, Diane Sarna. Students originally from the Philippines even provided holiday greetings in Tagalog, their native language, to include in the cards. The donations were then sent to UNICEF and Architecture for Humanity, two groups pledging to help rebuild after the storm. In addition, AFS Club events typically include trips to local ethnic restaurants, viewing international films, hosting a mid-winter international potluck dinner, having visiting exchange students shadow them throughout the school day, and an end-of-year “international trip” to New York’s Chinatown and Little Italy.

AFS-USA’s School Outreach team applauds Fox Lane High School for its stellar efforts to foster global citizenship through intercultural learning! We look forward to hearing about their activities throughout the year. High five!