The students at the Crossover International Academy are former slaves abducted from families and villages, cast from society, and robbed of knowledge. Education is their freedom. Wings for Crossover was established to help them access education, building classrooms and food production systems so that they can learn.
The Crossover-Pegasus connection sprang from a vision, that students (at any location, in any circumstance) could learn issues more deeply when they hold personal implications, and that global issues are local issues.
Both Jim Conti and Dave Yayravi believed it to be true.
Working in collaboration with students from dramatically different circumstances can help translate concepts into real-life problems to be solved, and it can open minds that have been limited by simple lack of exposure. Wings for Crossover hopes to aggressively expand the scope of subjects and projects that are researched, debated, and potentially implemented by the students of The Pegasus School and Crossover International Academy through collaboration.
And in order to do this, it must be able to maintain digital communication. Communications are vital to Crossover; satellite is their lifeline to the world. Students can use online reading and math programs to facilitate reading fluency and math skills, in addition to collaborative assignments with the Pegasus School. But the Internet is not just vital for their educational well being, it is necessary for the functioning and optimal performance of the aquaponic system, which is the livelihood of Crossover.
Thanks to generous donations from iDirect and Skyvision, Crossover International Academy is connected to the Internet by a high-speed satellite dish. (All of the images on the website were taken with an Ipad at Crossover and sent back via satellite.) IDirect provided the satellite equipment; Skyvision offered Internet connectivity service free-of-charge for the first year.
Summer – Fall 2014
SkyVision offered Internet connectivity service free-of-charge for the second year. At the Pegasus School, an aquaponics system was built on the school campus for the purpose of student understanding and water monitoring. The Crossover students report their measurements on a Google doc, which is managed by students in the U.S.
Curricular issues for the school year included: the implications of drought. The students in California were made aware of the current water shortages in their state through instruction, while the impact of water-shortage to the students in Ghana was more tangible. As the levels dropped in Lake Volta, the dam stopped producing electricity and their pond temporarily lost hydration; hundreds of fish died.
A generator was purchased for the school.
October 11, 2014
In 2012, the United Nations established the International Day of the Girl to promote girls’ rights, highlight gender inequalities that remain between girls and boys, and addresses the various forms of discrimination and abuse suffered by girls around the world. The girls of Crossover prepared speeches and set up a table in the local village to express their views to an unsympathetic local male audience.
The students at Pegasus watched.
2015: Next Steps
Academically, any Pegasus Global Issues class subject can be enriched by the marriage of a local perspective to the Ghanaian viewpoint. Next up: micro-lending.
In terms of collaboration, Wings for Crossover student groups have formed at Sage Hill School and Mater Dei High School. Student driven initiatives like “Merry Mats” and the current drive for desks will continue to increase with student involvement.