Middle School Director Selected for Japan Fulbright Memorial Fund Teacher Program
Posted 09/27/2007 09:00PM
Winchester Thurston’s Director of Middle School, Ms. Holly Hatcher-Frazier, will depart for Tokyo in October as a participant in the Japan Fulbright Memorial Fund (JFMF) Teacher Program. Ms. Hatcher-Frazier was selected from a pool of more than 1,700 applicants by a panel of educators to earn this honor. The JFMF program allows distinguished primary and secondary school educators in the United States to travel to Japan for three weeks in an effort to promote greater intercultural understanding.

The JFMF Teacher Program involves a rigorous schedule of travel, meetings with Japanese officials and educators, classroom observation, homestays, and cultural enrichment. Upon their return, program participants share what they have learned about Japan with their students and colleagues through a variety of outreach projects. Ms. Hatcher-Frazier already spearheads an Asian Studies Class at WT and plans to use her trip to Japan as a way to enrich both this class and WT’s new school-wide Asian Studies Program, still in its planning stages.

Under Ms. Hatcher-Frazier’s leadership, the Middle School strives to instill in students a sense of global citizenship. She believes that this program will allow her to introduce interesting and valuable new resources into WT’s classrooms. She hopes that the relationships she builds in Japan will lead to cross-cultural correspondence between WT and a Japanese “sister school,” perhaps even in a virtual classroom capacity.

“Students will realize that they are not so different from these Japanese children, even if they are half a world away,” she remarked. “At WT, we want to emphasize cultural studies in interdisciplinary ways that are relevant to our students – through food, art, and music, as well as through history and language.”

Ms. Hatcher-Frazier lived in Singapore for nine months in a total immersion setting while her husband studied there as a Luce Scholar, and credits this experience with broadening her horizons and fueling her passion for both Asian studies and promoting diversity.

The Japan Fulbright Memorial Fund is sponsored by the Government of Japan and was launched in 1997 to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the U.S. government Fulbright Program, which has enabled more than 6,000 Japanese citizens to student in the U.S. on Fulbright fellowships for graduate education and research. Through the JFMF Teacher Program, up to 400 educators from the United States are invited to visit Japan in June and October (200 in each session). To date, more than 5,800 educators have traveled to Japan through this program.

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