ElliotThe World Affairs Council of Oregon selected Lynn Elliot of Jennings Lodge Elementary as its second annual K-12 Global Educator of the Year.

The award recognizes outstanding teachers who take the initiative to incorporate global studies into their classroom.

Elliot took a class at Portland State University and learned about multicultural boxes that contained lesson plans, information and artifacts about a particular country. At first, Elliot was just excited about how she could use these materials and concepts in her own classroom, but then a bigger idea came to mind — why not create a multicultural night to make global awareness a schoolwide event?

The event is now in its 15th year and hosts about 500 guests each year. Classrooms across the school study a country for a month. On the night of the event, parents, students and guests receive a passport and travel from room to room to see what the students have been learning. When guests visit a classroom, they sample foods from that country, see the artifacts from the cultural boxes, view student work and possibly hear special musical entertainment.

The cultural boxes that are available through the Multicultural Resource Center have impacted the lives of many students. Students can touch, hear and see things that they may never have a chance to otherwise. When students enter the classroom in September they always ask which country they will be studying that year.

“The excitement of the kids in wanting to learn about students from other countries is priceless,” Elliot said.

She will be presented with the award at the World Quest event, the nonprofit’s largest and only fundraiser, on Friday, Nov. 16, from 5:30 to 9 p.m. in the Oaks Park Dance Pavillon in Sellwood.

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