Crossing cultural boundaries: Porter’s Leads creates a space of learning for both campers and counselors

“The Global Language and Leadership Institute (GLLI) allows both campers and counselors to create a space of understanding. Not only are the campers translating from their native language to English, they are also translating their cultures and identities. GLLI inspires a conversation about new perspectives.” – Ji B. ’17

Global Language and Leadership InstituteAn enthusiastic group from China joined Miss Porter’s School for three weeks this July for the Global Language and Leadership Institute (GLLI), one of the programs offered for middle school girls over the summer. Staffed by several young Ancients and current students, along with school administrators, this intensive immersion program prepared girls who plan to attend boarding school in the U.S. Goals of the program were to help them master the English language and familiarize them with American culture (rounds of miniature golf a must!), as well as to teach basic fundamentals of a Miss Porter’s School education such as leadership training, building independence, and strengthening public speaking skills. And — in the words of one camper — “to try out as much American food as possible!”

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The institute revolved around four themes over the three weeks: leadership, identity, autonomy, and risk. Themes were explored using various methods — many camper-led discussions, analyzing shared reading using critical thinking and comprehension skills, creative writing assignments, and even our own “Story Slam.” Not only did campers have an incredible learning experience, counselors found that this was also an educational experience for them too — interacting with girls from outside the U.S., learning about cultural differences, and discovering that s’mores are, in fact, only in America:

“I have loved getting to know people from all over the world. Here at Porter’s, we are expected to be global citizens, and I firmly believe that working at this program has helped me achieve that. I have been able to teach and play with girls from all different parts of China and it’s been great!” — Annie W. ’18

“I have so enjoyed watching our GLLI campers immerse themselves here at Porter’s. It has been so exciting to watch them use their English, make friends, and take risks throughout these last three weeks. I love working with GLLI because we are a very unique program. Being able to share our culture (and the Porter’s community) with the campers and in exchange, learn more about their own cultures and is very special.” — Aisling Q. ’17

smores“During this program, I have become so much more aware of how different cultures are – an example of this is s’mores. GLLI campers didn’t know what they were and and it was so fun being able to share a little of our culture with them. I think it’s really important that as leaders, we should be more aware of cultural differences.” — Jackie B. ’20

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Campers read Everything, Everything by Nicola Yoon. Themes and topics were discussed as a group, challenging their critical thinking and comprehension skills.
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Another must do when experiencing American culture — a baseball game! Enjoying the Yard Goats game in Hartford.
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Campers took several cultural field trips, visiting museums including the Yale Art Museum (pictured) and the Hillstead Museum, and enjoyed Summer Concerts on the Glastonbury town green.
For more information on Miss Porter’s School summer programs, visit our website or contact the Admission Office at 860-409-3530.

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