MHS teacher travels to Japan

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, November 15, 2006


Rose D&8217;Alessio will visit Tokyo for three weeks to participate in the Japan Fulbright Memorial Fund (JFMF) Teacher Program. D&8217;Alessio, a French and literary enhancement teacher at Montevallo High School, was selected from a national pool of 2,300 applicants by a panel of educators. The program allows distinguished primary and secondary school educators in the United States to travel to Japan to promote greater intercultural understanding between the two nations.

The visiting educators, traveling Nov. 12-30, will start the tour in Tokyo with an orientation on Japanese life and culture, followed by a meeting with Japanese government officials. They will then travel in groups of 20 to selected host cities where they will have direct contact with Japanese teachers and students during visits to primary and secondary schools as well as a teacher&8217;s college. The teachers will also visit cultural sites and local industries, in addition to a brief homestay with a Japanese family.

&8220;I am thrilled about my upcoming &8216;educational adventure&8217;,&8221; D&8217;Alessio said. &8220;Even though I&8217;ve lived and traveled in Europe, I have never imagined spending three weeks in the East, all expenses paid! I encourage Shelby County teachers to take advantage of this opportunity.&8221;

D&8217;Alessio is especially looking forward to impacting her literary enhancement students, as they introduce Japanese culture to their &8220;reading buddies&8221; at Montevallo Elementary School through literature, art, music and drama. She stated that her goal as a foreign language and literary enhancement teacher has been to extend her student&8217;s gaze beyond the confines of the classroom, whether through travel or the adventures of a gripping book

&8220;As I travel through Japan in November, and connect with my students via videoconferencing, my hope is that their worldly gaze will become a reality,&8221; she said.

The Japan Fulbright Memorial Fund, based in Tokyo, oversees all aspects of the Teacher Program. Sponsored by the Japanese government, the program was launched in 1997 to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the U.S. Fulbright Program. It has enabled more than 6,000 Japanese citizens to study in the U. S. on Fulbright fellowships for graduate education and research.