As part of the AUA initiative, the School-2-School program advances goals related to developing the leadership skills, critical thinking, concepts of citizenship, cross-cultural skills, and empathy of students in the United States and throughout the Muslim World. Since 2005, the S2S program has benefitted more than a thousand students and teachers from countries such as Morocco and Bangladesh and cities like Dallas and Washington DC. Through S2S, lead educators from the American schools and their partner schools overseas focus on designing and implementing a plan for their students to engage with and learn from each other while building and enhancing these important 21st century skills. In addition, educators from around the world have the opportunity to connect with and share best practices with others through the School-2-School network.
S2S partnerships can be implemented at the high school, middle school, or elementary school level. Teachers may organize student participation in the exchange as part of one of their classes during the school day, or the exchange may be conducted as part of a student-led group or club that meets after school.
Each partnership supports students in reaching the following objectives:
- To formulate a strong sense of global citizenship; capacities for empathy and tolerance; and an ability to understand and appreciate other cultures
- To participate in a global community and take actions that positively impact themselves, their own communities, and their contemporaries in another country
- To develop 21st century skills, specifically leadership; cross-cultural communication and teamwork; project management; and digital literacy
The leadership, flexibility, and cultural awareness engendered among program participants supports the development of a more responsible and enlightened citizenry that navigates challenging cross-cultural situations in a reasoned and efficient way. S2S supports an environment of learning and tolerance in the US and in partner countries. Participating students have a greater chance to reach their learning objectives while they use technology to build their cross-cultural skills and represent their communities while dispelling stereotypes. Further, S2S supports the professional development of outstanding teachers, providing select participants an opportunity to educators to teach or train in a developing country and engendering a deeper commitment of loyalty to their school community.