May 4, 2010

Student swap: City, rural students trade places for a day

Rural and city high school students traded places for a day over the last month to help the students learn about life and diversity in a different setting and from a different point of view.

What did the students learn? That they really aren't that different from each other.

"There are always stereotypes on both sides so I think it is broken through those of what is the stereotype of kids that go to a larger city school versus stereotypes of kids that go to a small rural school and live on a farm," Becky McLaughlin, a Lincoln (NE) High School teacher, told KHAS TV in a report (click here for the story and video). McLaughlin was part of the group from the city.

"The comment I heard most was, 'they are just the same as we are.' They like they same kind of music and they text and do all the same things we do," Karla Lubben, a teacher from the smaller, rural school Bruning-Davenport.

Besides attending classes at Bruning, the city students from Lincoln visited local farms, including a dairy farm, and a grain facility.

Organizers said the exchange was a success -- and they are thinking about doing it again next year.

Wouldn't it be wonderful if the program was expanded to include more students from more communities?

What a great opportunity to for students from the city to experience rural life and learn a bit about agriculture and what goes on in rural communities - while students from rural communities have an opportunity to walk the halls of high schools that, comparatively, are the size of a small town.

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