[Sponsored Article] The current COVID-19 crisis further highlights how globally interconnected the world has become and our need to be able to work together towards common challenges. During the past few months, countries have developed a sense of camaraderie, opening conversation, and sharing discoveries, amidst the common battle to fight the illness and its effects on health and society. In a world that is yearning for inspiring leaders more so than ever before, international schools, such as Stamford American School Hong Kong, are doing their part to foster the growth of global citizens and build the necessary skills and attitude to be successful in our increasingly complex world. What is a global citizen? “Global Citizens at Stamford American School are cultural ambassadors, celebrating diversity by creating an inclusive, caring and connected community. We are open-minded and empathetic, promoting respect and equality. We advocate for the sustainability of our earth.” Rose Chambers, Lower School Principal of Stamford Hong Kong who has worked internationally for over 17 years, has made Global Citizenship her passion project. To build global citizenship, Stamford takes a genuinely integrated and scaffolded approach; Rose Chambers explains, "As a school community, we created our definition of global citizenship to build a shared understanding from day one. Students are encouraged to understand issues affecting sustainability locally, as well as those encountered by different countries and cultures and understand how they can take action and propose unique solutions.” Embedding the Approach Incorporating culturally responsive teaching into each unit is the responsibility of Trishna Harjani, an experienced educator, and one of four teachers at Stamford who recently attended the course “Educating Global Citizens” conducted by the renowned Harvard University. "I carefully look at the units in each grade level to embed opportunities that develop this approach to thinking. As our students progress through Stamford, this approach to problem-solving then becomes a core skill." Trishna Harjani highlights. Showcasing Knowledge on the Larger Scale As part of the Cognita global family of almost 80 schools, Stamford offers opportunities to unite children from schools around the world through special projects. In Grade 2, students took part in the global “Solar Buddy Project”, where they studied energy poverty and then constructed solar lights to send to children in Papua New Guinea. Grade 5 students focus heavily on the UN Sustainable Development Goals and have a yearly "Global Goals Showcase". Here they research on a goal of their choice and present a solution using Stamford's vast technical resources that are part of the STEMinn (science, technology, engineering, math and innovation) program. This year students created their own website to showcase their project and present statistics, opinions, infographics and other promotional materials to encourage good practice. As students progress into secondary, the focus remains on both local and global action. Students initiated a composting program in partnership with the school's canteen, inspired by the school's yearly STEMinn event "Sustainable Stamford" that puts the spotlight on this highly relevant topic. Inspiring Influencers Students and families are engaged by special events throughout the year, including inspiring guest speakers and collaborations. Some of the speakers have come from Stamford itself as part of the "Humans of Stamford" project where figures in the school community share their experiences, including Grade 5 teacher, Rachel Goss who traveled to Haiti to work on a clean water and sanitation project. Meanwhile, Grade 1 students had a very touching visit from Mr. Jordan Hatter, who shared his experience working with Syrian refugees, while High School students collaborated with local business Mills Fabrica to see how technology and sustainability can have a place in the fashion industry. Stamford is fortunate to have a very active PSA who have helped grow the caring culture and have embraced this approach to education. They organized large scale food fiesta as part of the school's "International Day", and have been integral to celebrations for Diwali, Christmas and Chinese New Year. With the introduction of online learning in February, many of this year’s special events have been able to be transformed into a virtual experience where families connect from home to share language, recipes and ideas for a better tomorrow. It has taken a lot of thought and purpose to develop global citizens at Stamford which pays off by building a strong sense of compassion and integrity for the benefit of every student's future, Rose Chambers shared, "Developing students who are problem solvers and can work across diverse teams will allow students to embrace challenges they encounter and create a world we all want to live in."