Friday, September 6, 2013

Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children's Hospital of Chicago and their awesome kids!

A week ago, we had the opportunity to bring our geography enrichment program called "Wander Our World" to Tanzania to a great group of kids at Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children's Hospital of Chicago.  We wanted to give the kids an opportunity to take a break from their usual hospital routine.  We expected that the change in scenery would be welcomed, but what came as a complete surprise to us was the attention, focus and smiles that the children displayed during the entire 1.5 hour class.


Preparing to visit with the children took some extra care.  In order to provide a tactile experience, we brought our Travel Trunk which includes artifacts and other objects that really helps to bring the country of Tanzania to life.  We worked with the education staff to make sure our supplies were sanitized and that the children were comfortable.


We learned the continent song, how to count to 10 in Swahili, investigated various handicrafts of the Maasai, and even listened to the sounds of wildebeests while they migrated across the Serengeti.  The children tried to imagine what it would be like to live in a dung hut, and were even energetic while they went on “safari” to look for some of the fascinating animals of the Ngorongoro Crater.   They also tried their hand at their very own Tingatinga art. 


But the most important thing of all is watching their imaginations travel far from the limits they had within their physical environment at the hospital.  And for a moment in time, however brief, we were able to bring a world of adventure to these kids who would otherwise not have this opportunity. 

I have to admit that I never know who looks forward to our classes more - me or the kids.  I am genuinely overjoyed watching their faces light up when they learn something new about our world, and our recent global adventure was no different.  It is days like the one spent at Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children's Hospital where I feel like we truly do make footprints of the mind!


*images courtesy of Dana Foley Photography

8 comments:

  1. What an amazing story, Footprints you are the best. Your work is amazing, creative, and one of a kind. My daughter still talks about her experience with you. Keep up the great work.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Truly inspiring! I love to see this program's far reaching effects. My kids still can't wait to "visit" a new country every month and I'm so glad to see others enjoying it as well.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Suzanne, glad your kids are still 'traveling'! Let me know how I can help!

      Delete
  3. Footprints of the Mind, fabulous program with far reaching effects, it fills the geography void in our schools today.
    Footprints makes learning about the world FUN, this program is one of a kind, inspiring and creative.
    Seeing the children in the photos at Lurie Children's Hospital enjoying a much needed break from treatment is amazing.
    Take advantage of this fabulous program, your children will thank you for it, traveling the world and never leaving your classroom..awesome!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you for the awesome comments, Jamie. We were able to have another visit at Lurie's a couple of days ago. It really is great to put a smile on those kids' faces!

      Delete
  4. A truly effective program in teaching geography and culture to young children. By grabbing their attention at such a young age, the instructor sets them up for a lifetime of interest in these topics rarely covered in school. My daughter cherishes her time at the classes and the take-home crafts. My older son is a big fan of the William Wanders web page as well.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. How cool that your son is a fan of www.williamwanders.com! That was the inspiration that started this journey for us. Thank you for being a part of it!

      Delete