MONROE – The N.C. Department of Public Instruction designated Western Union Elementary as a North Carolina Prepared Global-Ready School on Nov. 7.
Western Union Elementary is one of 10 schools in the state and two in Union County to earn the distinction.
Western Union Elementary was recognized for preparing students for the world through strategic planning, sustaining local and international partnerships as well as integrating global themes throughout its curriculum.
“Preparing students for the future also includes preparing students to succeed in a global economy,” said Andrew Houlihan, superintendent of Union County Public Schools. “Western Union Elementary is a shining example of what’s going right around global education.”
World language is fostered through students who participate in the school’s Spanish Dual Language Immersion program. Offered to students in kindergarten through fifth grade, its one of 17 language immersion programs offered districtwide.
All students also have the opportunity to participate in an afterschool club to learn Spanish, a class that teaches students about music from other countries with an emphasis on vocabulary, and Skype sessions with students across 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. The school works with community partners to help students learn about their environment and enhance their understanding of the world.
Western Union Elementary also hosts a global fair for parents and the community.
Teachers regularly participate in training to increase their 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,” 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.”