Rumson-Fair Haven Regional High School (RFH) Spanish Teacher Christina Gauss has received a Learning and Leadership Grant from the National Education Association.
The awarding of the $2,000 grant was based on her proposal entitled Cuba: One Year Later, in reference to the time that has passed since U.S. President Barack Obama and Cuban President Raul Castro announced their normalization plan.
The grant will allow Gauss to travel to Cuba in January, 2016 for an immersive cultural experience. While in Cuba, Gauss and fellow educators will participate in a Witness for Peace Delegation hosted by the People to People Organization.
“I am very excited for the opportunity to enhance my Spanish language skills while developing an understanding of the Cuban people, their rich cultural heritage, and their perspective on being at the forefront of social change,” said Gauss. “I am also looking forward to sharing my insights with students in all of my classes, and working to coordinate cross-disciplinary activities.”
The group plans to get involved with and learn about many aspect of Cuban life and culture, including:
• The literacy campaign that led to Cuba’s designation as an “illiteracy-free” zone by the United Nations;
• Current education practices for Cuban youth and communities
Local, sustainable agriculture;
• The current “drivers” of the economy;
• Cuba’s response to global climate change, a particular threat to island nations;
• Creation of the art that sustains the Cuban soul, and live performances at The Martin Luther King Center, a hub for community education and faith;
• Ecology as it relates to the earth, the community, and the mind.
Gauss currently teaches Spanish I, IV, IV Honors, and Advanced Placement (AP) Spanish at RFH. The activities she plans while in Cuba correlate directly to the AP Spanish Language and Culture Curriculum with a focus on contemporary life, global challenges, personal and public identities, family and community, beauty and esthetics, and science and technology.
Upon her return, Gauss will develop curricular materials, activities, and presentations to share her findings with her students.
— Edited press release from Rumson-Fair Haven Regional High School