Meridian Star

September 18, 2013

Teacher Summer Institute

The Meridian Star

MERIDIAN —     Sarah Cook, an intellectually gifted teacher at Southeast Middle School, was fortunate enough to be selected, along with 24 other teachers nationwide, to participate in a Teacher Institute in South Africa for five weeks this summer.         Teacher Institutes are workshops that are held all over the country as well as other countries. The teacher institute is sponsored by the National Endowment for the Humanities, which is a federal program.

    The group toured the country of South Africa and learned about the people, the country and the culture. Cook states, “It was an amazing experience.  We started out in Cape Town which has a population of 3.8 million people. We attended 16 different lectures while in South Africa which addressed the various aspects of the country.”

    The group traveled the whole country with stops in the cities of Durban, Johannesburg, Port Elizabeth, Grahamstown and Kimberly.  Some of the famous places they visited were Robben Island, where Nelson Mandela was incarcerated for a number of years, The Big Hole in Kimberly, Cape Agulhas, the point where the Indian and Atlantic oceans meet, and the Cape of Good Hope.

    “This was definitely one of the best experiences I have ever had," Cook said. "I am excited about sharing the history and the information I learned about the

people, climate, culture, and geography with my gifted students at Southeast Middle School.”

    Cook will use handouts she gathered from her trip, materials she purchased from various places she visited, brochures, currency, and other visuals aids to teacher her gifted students about South Africa.

    Cook encourages teachers to visit the National Endowment for the Humanities website to find out more information participating in the teacher institute.