Thursday, January 30, 2014

Montana exchange program gives rural and urban students an insight into each others' lives

High school students in rural and urban Montana are getting an inside look at how the other half lives through a program that allows students from one area to visit the other area and be chaperoned around by their peers. Most recently, the program paired up students from Forsyth High School, with a student population of 112, with students from Skyview High School in Billings, Rob Rogers reports for the Billings Gazette. With an enrollment of 1,600, Skyview has almost as many students as the entire population of Forsyth, which has 1,900 residents.

The program, through the nonprofit OneMontana and its Rural-Urban Student Entrepreneur Exchange program, began last year, Rogers writes. As part of the program, students are given a tour of the other group's town, visit local businesses, attend classes at the other school and put together a business project that will be showcased in April when students from the two schools are reunited.

"Students saw first hand the differences between a rural and an urban community, which is what the teachers wanted the students to see," Rogers writes. Kim Knoche, a teacher at Forsyth, told Rogers, "They always think the grass is greener, you know. It's a real-world view." Another hope is that students from different backgrounds will form a bond. Knoche told Rogers, "I was hoping they'd get a chance to make some friends. And they connected right off." (Read more) (Facebook photo: Forsyth students getting a view of Billings)

No comments: