Global Links brings new cultures, perspectives to Classrooms

by: Emili Jaime-Allwood, Global Explorers Chair and Sandy Janack, Middle School Teacher
Global Links is a new Shorecrest project created to offset some curricular challenges associated with the coronavirus pandemic. In the past, Chargers enjoyed a student exchange program with Colegios Ramón y Cajal, a Spanish school in Madrid, through the Global Explorers program chaired by Lower School Spanish Teacher Emili Jaime-Allwood. Emili and her colleague, Laura García Trinidad, the Coordinator of International Programs at Colegios Ramón y Cajal, did not want their students to entirely miss out on the cultural experiences normally garnered from hosting students and traveling abroad. They ideated a secure, online environment called Global Links on which students can connect with schools from different parts of the world, with the objective of bringing global culture studies to curriculum.

Global Links is built on Padlet, universal productivity software available in over 25 languages, and currently connects teachers from the United States, Spain, Uganda, France, Peru, Mexico, Germany and El Salvador for collaborative projects. 

Shorecrest Social Studies Teacher Sandy Janack premiered the first Global Links project with Laura at Colegios Ramón y Cajal, in which fifth grade social studies students were asked to share holiday traditions. As the two teachers collaborated and the project solidified, they invited educators at the Melton Kampala School in Kampala, Uganda, and Bellevue High School in Saintes, France, to join them - linking four schools on three different continents for one project. 

Each student created a project about holiday traditions important to them. Ms. Janack’s students created projects about a variety of holidays including Diwali, Hanukkah, Christmas, New Years Eve, Valentines Day and Ukrainian New Year. The Chargers excitedly shared about these holidays as well as information about traditions in Brazil, United Kingdom, and Norway, where some of them had lived. Each student posted a Google Slides presentation to Padlet that is accessible to all of the affiliated classrooms. Once they posted their project, students could view and learn from all of the projects posted on the Padlet. In this personal, holistic way, Chargers learned about traditions in Spain, France and Uganda. 

Fifth grader Drew E. said, “I think it is a privilege that we can see how other people around the world celebrate the holidays. We are all so different but at the same time we are all so much the same.” After viewing projects from around the globe Hana D. ‘28 reacted by saying, “I found it cool that some of the other people’s traditions are like my traditions but there is a twist that makes it stand out.” 

Global Links has since spread throughout Middle School. In second semester of 2020-2021, Upper School and Lower School classes will also be introduced. Experiential School will be linked in next year, and then all Chargers will have additional access to connect with the WORLD digitally. A representative of Global Links can be found in each Shorecrest division: Spanish Teacher Emili Jaime-Allwood for Lower and Experiential Schools, Social Studies Teacher Sandy Janack in Middle School and Spanish Teacher Al Irwin in Upper School.

To learn more about Global Links, or to participate in a project, contact Emili Jaime-Allwood at or Sandy Janack at


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Shorecrest Preparatory School is a private, non-sectarian, coeducational, college preparatory day school for students preschool through high school, located in St. Petersburg, Florida.