In the United States, YTF partners with schools and after-school communities in low-income communities to deliver a cross-cultural learning program, LearNations, which connects students on a chosen topic and encourages a higher level of social consciousness, community leadership and global citizenship.
LearNations is a cross-cultural global communication program for youth aimed at enhancing their educational experience and at the same time bridging communities. Youth participants learn to use technology as a means to extend their learning and develop an interest in other cultures while learning more about issues that are important to them, their families, and local communities.
Rather than begin with technology, LearNations starts with an understanding of social and economic issues in the participant’s environment. Youth are the stakeholders of this project. They decide what topics are important to them, based on issues that matter the most to them in their community.
These issues may include, but are not limited to:
- Science & Health: HIV/AIDS awareness, water purification and water-borne illnesses, birth and population control, bio-medicine
- Civic responsibility: voting rights, women in public office, rural empowerment, recycling, women’s rights advocacy/female empowerment
- Social Studies: climate, geography, ecosystem, alternative energy, history and arts
- Education: technology, school systems and curriculum
- Community Building: small business, economics, employment, migration.
LearNations gives each child a voice regardless of age, gender, social class, community, and background. The aim of this program is to deliver a participatory learning methodology for education that uses project-based applied learning with digital media and interactive learning technologies. Youth select a topic to research and discuss, and then apply their learning to collaborate digitally with their international peers.
Based on project site and topic, student teams are created. Through the LearNations portal, youth communicate through threads, blogs, wikis and pictures to share information about their community and topic of interest.