On July 31st, 2003 a significant event for AUD’s educational program development occurred at the Hall of States. That day Global Education Motivators (GEM), the National Learning Foundation and AUD hosted a conference to disseminate distance learning opportunities to a worldwide network of schools and other educational organizations. Discussions focused on how to talk about world issues to young people across the miles. By using distance learning, we bring the world into the classroom in real time, with real people, about real issues. The representatives of the different organizations in attendance each presented their real-world projects.

Two projects, both initiated by GEM, were particularly relevant to AUD’s mission and will be implemented this upcoming school year.

First, AUD will have the opportunity to become a site for the United Nations Day, which is to be held in December, 2003. Many of the organizations in attendance at the Hall of States had already participated in the event in the past. This year, the theme will be Education for All and Literacy for All Children. UNESCO will be involved and Kofi Annan will be invited to the New York City conference. Students from all over the world will be able to participate from the different sites through video conferencing.

The second project is a series of vide-conferences on globalization and democracy, in which students will be able to participate via video-conferencing from different sites all over the world including the United States, Canada, Mexico, the Czech Republic, Ukraine, and Russia. Understanding the concept of globalization and the importance of sustaining democratic systems is a vital experience for young people today. Each program will provide pre program material for the student and teachers to help prepare them for each session. The suggested themes for this series starting in February 2004 include Realities of Globalization (Presenter site: United Nations, NY); Euro-Atlantic Union (Presenter site: AUD, Washington D.C.); The Dominican Republic: a Test Case for Democracy (Presenter site: FUNGLODE, Dominican Republic); Globalization -A US Perspective (Presenter site: AUD, Washington D.C. including presenters from Capitol Hill); Civil Society and Globalization (Presenter site: United Nations, NY).

We look forward to the opportunity of sharing our vision of reaching out to the world’s children.