LP teacher heads to China

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Lewis-Palmer High School social studies teacher Ken LeSage will spend five weeks in China this summer after being awarded the Fulbright-Hays Scholarship.

LeSage was one of 12 high school teachers from across the country to receive the scholarship and will spend five weeks in Hong Kong, China and Taiwan. The Fulbright-Hays Scholarship is part of the Fulbright Program, an international program funded by the United States Department of State.

J. William Fulbright was a U.S. senator from Arkansas who wanted to mend international relationships after World War II. In September of 1945, Fulbright introduced a bill to congress that “called for the use of proceeds from the sales of surplus war property to fund the promotion of international good will through the exchange of students in the fields of education, culture and science” according to https://eca.state.gov/fulbright.

“It’s pretty exciting that I was chosen out of hundreds of applicants,” LeSage said.

LeSage just found out he was a recipient of the scholarship on April 1. He learned about the program through the University of Colorado’s Program for Teaching East Asia, which he has been a part of several years. He applied for the scholarship at the beginning of March.

He leaves on June 26 and will return July 31. While there, LeSage will be visiting classes, learning about the culture, family structure, economy and language.

As part of the program, he must show what he has learned, and show how the experience has changed him. He will put together curriculum and incorporate it into his social studies classes next year.

“I will be able to incorporate it into my world geography, world history and European history classes,” LeSage said.

He will also be teaching the other social studies teachers at LPHS and Palmer Ridge High School what he learned. His curriculum will be published.

LeSage said there is a lot involved, and he’s a little overwhelmed by it all, but he’s excited to.

This will be his first trip to China. About 12 years ago he spent three weeks in Japan on a similar program, but it wasn’t on the scale of the Fulbright-Hayes program. He has traveled around the world and lived in Saudi Arabia for 11 years when he was growing up.

Before he leaves, he will be getting to know the other teachers that were chosen through email exchanges.

“I enjoy getting to know other people and learning about different cultures,” LeSage said.

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