Holiday Card Exchange

Thirteen Australian schools are participating in the card exchange project this year. Each school is linked with seven other schools in different parts of the world. The children prepare cards for the celebrations in their country to send to their partners. The children in the Christian countries usually prepare Christmas cards. In Taiwan, they make Chinese New Year cards and in Russia they explain that many families celebrate Russian Christmas on January 7 but for others the New Year is a more important celebration with the New Year tree and family get-togethers and special meals. Those who received Diwali cards from their partners in India were thrilled to learn more about their special occasion. In the Middle East, the Ramadan, Eid and Hanukkah are very important times for family and friends.

Keith Wrest (Benalla West Primary, Vic) told his partners about the fun of the Benalla Rose Festival. The festivities included fireworks, dancing, singing and a market.

Liz Rout (Thomas Mitchell Primary School, Endeavour Hills, Vic) reports that 10 teachers from her school are involved in the project. One of Liz's partners, Robyn Endress, teaches at Moravian Academy in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, which dates from 1742 and was started by missionaries from what is now known as the Czech Republic.

Jeff Hathaway and three other teachers at Bairnsdale Primary are excited to be working with partners in Bangaldesh, Taiwan, Slovenia and Belarus. One of their partners works in USA with six children with disabilities. He describes the school as a place for exceptional children.

Jane Wenlock's (Kolbe Catholic College, Craigieburn, Vic) Year 7 students are excited about working with students in Denmark, Russia and Ukraine while Cathy Vivian (Bletchey Park PS, WA) is doing the project with her Grade 3s. Cathy says that her class were very excited to receive their first cards from Slovenia. They had to look them up on a map to find out where it was!

Judy Norton's (Mt Tarcoola PS, WA) students have been comparing events associated with Remembrance Day on November 11 with students in Canada. They learnt that in Poland they celebrate their Independence Day on November 11.

Kim Steendham and her colleagues (St Paul's AGS, Traralgon, Vic) have enjoyed hearing about the changing colours of the autumn trees in Germany and the start of the winter chill in Canada.

Dianna McTavish's (St Brigid's Catholic PS, Healesville, Vic) partners in the US and Canada are preparing for Thanksgiving. October 31 was Halloween for US and Canada but in Slovenia they recognised Reformation Day. The next day, November 1 was All Saints Day. Her partner explained that they are busy picking grapes, harvesting corn and having chestnut picnics.

Holly Campbell (Kurnai College, Churchill, Vic) has received some beautiful photos of her Russian partner's students preparing the cards to send.

Andrea Digby and Wendy Steel's students (Wantirna College, Vic) have been learning about the culture of Slovenia including Trubar's Day, which dates back to 1508 and their Easter traditions.

Jeff Curwood (Nambrok PS, Vic) has involved his whole school (approx. 100 students) in the project. Their partners are in US, Canada, Taiwan, Belarus and United Arab Emirates.

Karalyn Jones (Rose Park PS, SA) has just recently been joined the project and was lucky enough to be placed in the last group for this year.

The project has been very popular worldwide and offers great opportunities to share cultural traditions and to learn about and with partners in many other countries.