Friday, December 29, 2017

IJWC holds JFK assassination PBL

Students at Alternative Education Center completed a project-based learning about the assassination of John F. Kennedy (JFK) before the end of the first semester of this school year. Students collaboratively wrote a one-act play in their English class about JFK assassination using the outputs of their research from their Social Studies class and experiments from their Science and Math classes. Furthermore, students, in their English class, completed an informational text analysis activity with NASA integration using the selection, “Can Writers Predict the Future?” that highlights JFK’s contribution to moon exploration. In this activity, students analyzed and discussed the text, created and presented a paper rocket spaceship model, and wrote an essay about it. Students’ essays were sent to their international partners for revising and editing.

Thursday, October 26, 2017

IJWC joins World Food Day 2017

International Junior Writers Club (IJWC) joined the United Nations' celebration of World Food Day on October 16, 2017 with the theme, "Change the future of migration. Invest in food security and rural development.” To engage them as a way to raise awareness of global hunger and the need for global food security, students at Alternative Education Center, Odessa, TX were asked a hypothetical question, "If you had a superpower to cook two favorite native foods to share with the world, what should these be and why?" Students responded to the question and then wrote a one-act comedy drama in their English class about their two favorite foods who are competing to be the only food to be cooked to feed the world because each one of them claims to be more special.

On the other hand, students at Instituto de Educación Secundaria IES Prado Mayor, Totana, Murcia, Spain, through the mentorship of Ms. Maria Aranzazu Mouriño Loretto, wrote about their favorite native foods in Spanish language. The students' writing outputs from Spain were sent to the US to be translated into the English language. US students who are learning Spanish as a foreign language tried to translate the Spanish writing outputs into English, making the students' learning process and experience more authentic to them.

Thursday, October 12, 2017

Philippine teachers receive IJWC recognition

US Embassy’s English Access Microscholarship Program (Access) teachers at Dapitan City National High School, Dapitan City, Philippines received a recognition from the International Junior Writers Club (IJWC) on October 5, 2017 during the commemoration of the 2017 World Teachers’ Day. Through the principal of Dapitan City National High School, Mr. Jofrey Malana, IJWC recognized Mrs. Marilou Monding, Mrs. Ursulita Rafanan, and Ms. Lydia Kilapkilap for being its partner teachers from Asia during the school year 2016-2017. These teachers were instrumental in connecting students from the Philippines with students from Texas. Aside from being luckily selected as US Embassy’s Access teachers, they had the privilege of receiving free US-based trainings. Mrs. Monding participated in Teaching English to Teens by the University of Maryland, Baltimore County on July 28 - August 31, 2016. Mrs. Rafanan was trained about US Culture and Values by Southern Illinois University, Carbondale, IL on October 28 - Nov 12, 2016. Additionally, Ms. Kilapkilap got accepted to the Intensive Sessions/Camps Exchange Program in Ohio and Kansas on July 18-28, 2017. Joining this school year is Araibo Elumba who was a participant of International Leaders in Education Program (ILEP) 2017 at James Madison Host University, Harrisonburg, VA on January 3-May 15, 2017. IJWC hopes to benefit more from the expertise of these amazing teachers.

Monday, October 2, 2017

Philippine students deliver USA's diversity speech

International Junior Writers Club (IJWC) members from Dapitan City National High School, Dapitan City, Philippines improved and delivered the speeches composed by IJWC members from Alternative Education Center in Odessa, TX. Mrs. Ursulita Rafanan and Ms. Lydia Kilapkilap, US Embassy's Access Program teachers, suggested the theme, How can we be one amidst cultural diversity?, for their English class lesson on speech. The activity provided the students with an opportunity to continue understanding cultural and racial diversity, particularly the cultural difference between the Philippines and USA.




Thursday, September 28, 2017

IJWC hosts debate at 2017 Global Collaboration Day

International Junior Writers Club (IJWC) successfully hosted an online debate at the 2017 Global Collaboration Day on September 21, 2017 during the concurrent celebration of this year's International Day of Peace. The event called, ISIS Presidential Debate, allowed participants to share their stance on whether they should help fight ISIS terrorism or stay out of it if they were the president of their country. Because of the success of this event, IJWC will be hosting another event at next year's Global Collaboration Day.

Saturday, September 23, 2017

IJWC hosts 2017 World Teachers’ Day Hero

International Junior Writers’ Club (IJWC) hosts the 2017 World Teachers’ Day Hero in celebration of the World Teachers’ Day on October 5, 2017 with the theme, Teaching in Freedom, Empowering Teachers. Observed on October 5 each year, the United Nations' (UN) World Teachers' Day commemorates the work of teachers around the globe and their momentous contributions to society. The 2017 World Teachers’ Day Hero, hosted by IJWC, highlights teachers worldwide that are nominated by their students whose lives have been significantly impacted by the heroic representation, freedom, and empowerment of these extraordinary teachers. Below are the mechanics of the event.

1. You must be a current middle school or high school student regardless of age to participate.
2. Fill up the online form to nominate your hero teacher to the 2017 World Teachers’ Day Hero. You need your teacher’s email address. Non-English speaking students may ask assistance from a teacher in completing this process.
3. Clearly explain how your teacher impacted your life this year that makes him/her deserving to be recognized as a 2017 World Teachers’ Day Hero. Your story will be published online.
4. You will receive a Certificate of Participation.
5. Your teacher will be awarded a 2017 World Teachers’ Day Hero recognition.
6. Deadline for nomination is October 5, 2017.

Hannah Brown
Cypress Falls High School, Houston

“She actually cared about me. She always asked about my family and me. She helped me in school a lot of times and in so many ways. She never showed she was tired supporting and advising her students. I admire this teacher so much, and I cannot forget her.”
-- Mason P., Student

Tyler Sorochan
John D. Bracco School, Edmonton, AB, Canada

“Mr. Sorochan patiently guided me through the complex world of Math, helping me understand various concepts while at the same time making lessons fun and taking away students' fear of Math and numbers. Mr. Sorochan had always encouraged me to excel and give my best and believed that I can be someone of value. I was in his class when I competed in the Gauss Math contest and got a perfect score.”
-- Ashley Rowe Khaleyla Haylalapit, Student

Jasmin B. Adasa
Dapitan City National High School, Philippines

“As a teacher and girl scout coordinator, Ms. Jasmin Adasa has influenced me the most. She cares about the students and always gives students good advice. She is seen as a second mother to many of us, and I appreciate all that she does for us. She has built me up and prepared me for what the future might hold. She keeps me inspired in order for me to reach my goals in life. That's why for me, Ms. Jasmin Adasa is deserving to be recognized as a 2017 World Teachers’ Day Hero.”
-- Johanna Marie Buhisan, Student

“She is the best supporter in the endeavors we choose to take. She trains us to become independent, to manage our time wisely, and to be responsible in our roles as students and leaders. She never gets tired of pushing us to do what we consider impossible. Through her guidance and support, I have achieved the highest and the most prestigious award given by the Girl Scout of the Philippines, the Chief Girl Scout Medal. It gives me an opportunity to travel and experience Manila for it will be awarded in PICC, Pasay City. She is a big part of my journey, and for that, I thank her so much!”
-- Kharla Joy D. Denura, Student

Christopher Gibby
Odessa High School, Odessa, TX

“Mr. Gibby was the only teacher I had who did not judge me. Mr. Gibby had a great teaching method. I could easily understand math with him. He always makes math fun, engaging, and challenging.”
-- Analisa V., Student

Angelica Gutierrez
George H.W. Bush New Tech Odessa

“She was the best teacher and friend I've ever had. She always made me laugh even if I had a bad day. She was very understanding to me and to other students. She always showed that she cared.”
-- Christian B., Student

Alyssa Keith
Bowie Middle School

“She was there for me when I needed her. When I was in 8th Grade, she helped me out a lot. She was one of the best teachers I’ve ever had. She was like my hero. Tell her I said, Hi!”
-- Zamien M., Student

Nancy Woodard
AEC-Ector County ISD

“She believes in me when no one else would. She is always nice to everyone even though some people are mean to her. Thank you, Mrs. Woodard!”
-- Louis C., Student

“Dear Mrs. Woodard, thank you for everything! You are so appreciated by many people including myself. Even on my lazy days, you push me to do my best. You want nothing but the best for me, and I love that 'cause not many people believe in me. You're a great person. I'm blessed to have met you.”
-- Elena H., Student

Alice Elliot
Campbell College, Edmonton AB

“Alice was instrumental in helping me understand Canadian culture and in developing my self-confidence, recognizing skills that I have not realized I have. She opened my eyes how to appreciate life's challenges and how to rise above difficult situations. Thank you, Alice!
-- Me-Ann Haylalapit, Student

Tyler Wright
Permian High School

“Dear Mr. Wright, I appreciate everything you did for me. You always pushed me to be the best I could be and you always gave me good advice. You were there for me when none of the coaches were. I thank you for that because it makes me feel good and do fine. I miss you guys! Thank you for believing in me. Happy World Teachers' Day! Go Mojo!!!”
-- Terrance S., Student

Norma Rodriguez
Nimitz Middle School

“My teacher, Mrs. Rodriguez has always been there for me. She would always help me with my grades. I remember whenever I would get in trouble and they would make me sit outside the class, I would always go to her class and chill with her. Guess what miss, I am passing all my classes out here! I'll be back on the 18th if I don't get in trouble and get more days.”
-- Angel M., Student

Steven Talbot
Bonham Middle School

“Hello, Mr. Talbot! How are you doing? My life has been good, and I'm just about to go back to Permian. I've been playing basketball, getting better at Math, Reading, and Art. You should go to YMCA so we can hoop one more time. I only go on Mondays and Tuesday. Hope you have a good day. You are always my best teacher!” 
-- Kalvin F., Student

Melissa Neff
Bonham Middle School

“Mrs. Neff helped me a lot in many ways, and I appreciate her very much. She helped me with my work and she read the test to me. When a really good friend of mine passed away, she helped me through. The best thing about her is that she's real.”
- Katelin D., Student

Brian Phillips
Ector Middle School

“Mr. Phillips is nice to me. Every day he shakes my hand, and he helps me out when I need help. He gives me second chances.”
-- Thomas T., Student

Bianca Hernandez
Bowie Middle School

“Mrs. Hernandez is my favorite teacher because she makes Math simpler for me to understand. She has a funny sense of humor that always makes me laugh. Sometimes, when I'm not in a good mood, going to her class makes me feel better. I like how she's involved in all kinds of things, and she likes to express herself and work hard.”
-- Christopher Y., Student

Daniel Dorethy
Bowie Middle School

“He was there for me when I needed help. I talked to him about my problems. He listened and didn't judge me. He gave me advice to be a better person. He is so nice, and I respect him.”
-- Marcelo B., Student

Rosa Glover
AEC-Ector County ISD

“She doesn't rush. She explains every math problem and helps me work on it and breaks it down for me. She doesn't rush me to complete my work. She lets me sit and think about my work before I answer my question, and if I get some wrong answers, she will help me correct them.
-- John B., Student

Michelle Aguirre
AEC-Ector County ISD

“Ms. Aguirre has helped me a lot this year especially with everything that has happened to me this year. I am grateful I have her for my Spanish class or else I don't know what I would do. She's my favorite teacher, the best teacher I've ever had.”
-- Brayden E., Student

Nathaniel Pettigrew
AEC-Ector County ISD

“Mr. Pettigrew made my life better because he helped me out when I was sad about stuff at home or when I was mad at some staff members. He also made us work out when we were bad. He made us deals to do good. He made us food also when we were good. Mr. Pettigrew watched me grow up. When I was a young kid, I thought it was a game but now, I see why he tried to teach me a lot of stuff. Mr. Pettigrew is my hero teacher!
-- Ronald S., Student

Alexander Ramirez
AEC-Ector County ISD

“He believed in me and said I would make it. However, I let him down. He is like a coach to me and like an uncle to me. He was the only one that talked to me and helped me out. Sorry, Mr. Ramirez!
-- Noah F., Student

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

IJWC to host an event at 2017 Global Collaboration Day

International Junior Writers Club (IJWC) will host an event at 2017 Global Collaboration Day on September 21, 2017. The event titled, ISIS Presidential Debateengages participants in a friendly online debate whether they should help fight ISIS terrorism or stay out of it if they were the president of their country. The debate is timely as September 21st is also the observance of International Day of Peace. Participants may start asking themselves, "Does world peace mean getting rid of ISIS or leaving them alone?" The debate runs from September 18-23. If you would like to participate, please go to or click the image below.

Saturday, September 16, 2017

USA, Philippines complete Louisiana Purchase PBL

As a contribution of the English Department of Alternative Education Center (AEC), Odessa, TX to the school's first school-wide project-based learning (PBL) activity for the school year 2017-2018, members of the International Junior Writers Club from Odessa, TX and Dapitan City, Philippines completed a PBL activity called Louisiana Purchase on August 28-September 1, 2017. AEC students acted as historians tasked by the Louisiana State Museum to revisit researches or studies about Louisiana Purchase as a basis for the creation of a new Louisiana Purchase model to be displayed in the museum. Their Philippine learning partners acted as artists creating the model. 

After researching about Louisiana Purchase from their History, Science, Math, and Elective Courses, AEC students in their English class consolidated and analyzed their findings using graphic organizers and depth and complexity icons, wrote a report, and presented the report to the class. Philippine students, under the guidance of Mr. Araibo D. Elumba, US Embassy's Access Program teacher, created posters based on the researched information about Louisiana Purchase. Aside from using the posters to complete the PBL, Philippine students used the artwork for their editorial cartooning activity as they studied American history and culture.

Friday, September 8, 2017

IJWC attends EdmodoCon 2017

International Junior Writers Club, through its adviser, attended the EdmodoCon 2017 on August 1, 2017. EdmodoCon is a virtual event sponsored by Edmodo, an educational technology company that offers a communication, collaboration, and coaching platform to K-12 schools and teachers. Edmodo is a known platform not only for teachers of a virtual classroom but also those involved in global learning collaboration. Highlights during the conference involved the inspiring talks of Richard Culatta, CEO of International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE); Ved Sinha, VP Product of Edmodo; Anthony Salcito, VP of Worldwide Education - Microsoft; and Sal Khan, Founder and CEO of Khan Academy; among others.

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

IJWC supports Essay Writing Contest for Young Filipinos 2017

International Junior Writers Club (IJWC) supports the Essay Writing Contest for Young Filipinos 2017 sponsored by, which will end on October 10, 2017. Ms. Lisa Kok, Project Manager, has asked IJWC to help them spread the word of their cause. Participating Filipino students, 18-25 years old, will have a chance to win the following prizes:

First Prize       Php 15,000.00
Second Prize  Php 10,000.00
Third Prize      Php 5,000.00

For more information about the contest, please click the banner below.

Thursday, August 3, 2017

IJWC gets published in Spain

International Junior Writers Club (IJWC) got published in a newspaper, “Linea Local,” June 2017 issue, in Spain. The news article publicized the learning collaboration between students from Alternative Education Center in Odessa, TX and Instituto de Educación Secundaria IES Prado Mayor in Totana, Murcia, Spain. During the school year 2016-2017, students from Odessa, TX and Totana, Murcia, Spain collaborated with each other on project-based learning (PBL) and revising and editing activities. Because of her students' positive experience with this initiative, Ms. Maria Aranzazu Mouriño Loretto, IJWC’s teacher partner from Spain, hopes to extend students’ collaboration to other classes such as Mathematics, Science, Music, and Arts, not just English.

Saturday, July 8, 2017

IJWC wins Great Global Project Challenge

International Junior Writers Club (IJWC), an initiative of Alternative Education Center (AEC), Ector County Independent School District, Odessa, TX to connect its students to the world, won the Great Global Project Challenge for the school year 2016-2017. Sponsored by Partnership for 21st Century Learning (P21) and Participate, the Great Global Project Challenge was a project of the Global Education Conference Network that challenged teachers and students all over the world to engage in globally connected learning opportunities, meeting Asia Society's Pillars for Global Competence, International Society for Technology in Education's (ISTE) Standards, or P21's Global Education Framework. The objective of the challenge was to create and present as many globally connective projects for students and educators as possible from December 1, 2016 to April 1, 2017.

AEC students sought partnership with the US Embassy-sponsored English Access Microscholarship Program (Access) recipients from Dapitan City National High School, Schools Division of Dapitan City, Philippines and with students from Instituto de Educación Secundaria IES Prado Mayor, Totana, Spain to collaborate year-round on any writing assignments and projects. During the school year 2016-2017, students from the US, Philippines, and Spain were actively engaged in project-based learning (PBL) and revising and editing activities. IJWC’s participation in the Great Global Project Challenge signified the unwavering commitment of AEC and its international partners in promoting globally connected learning in spite of language barrier or lack of technology.

Winners of the Great Global Project Challenge were officially recognized at the International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE) Conference & Expo in San Antonio, TX on June 25, 2017. Three of them had the privilege of sharing their projects with educators and global education experts from different parts of the world attending the conference. Click on the image below to see the winners in alphabetical order and their amazing global projects.