Exchange Bilbao–New York
Exchange Bilbao–New York

So far away, so close

Third-grade students from Public School 144, Queens, and sixth-grade students from Munoa School, Barakaldo

Teachers: Lori Diamond, Jurdana Gonzalez, Eneritz Larrabaster, Sarai Redondo

Artists: Jeff Hopkins, Ixone Sádaba

Language: English

Kids from two different schools, one in Barakaldo and the other in Queens, New York, emailed to each other for six weeks. They exchanged information and photos of their art projects, as well as data of their school environments, to find similarities and differences between both places. This helped them develop writing skills in English, checking for themselves how useful this language can be when making new friends, especially if they are far away and different from yourself. Or perhaps they are not that different…

Email excerpts:

“We’re finishing our big art project with Mr. Jeff. Today we added the paint and our character shoes are now ready for the exhibition at the Guggenheim Museum. They look great! About Mr. Jeff: He’s an illustrator. He likes drawing fun cartoons and makes lots of parenting jokes—he’s got a little girl. Tell us about your artist, Ixone Sádaba. What are you working on right now?”

“To answer your questions: Ixone Sádaba is a photographer. She describes her portraits as political scenes. We’re working on a big mural based on our email exchanges. We’ll include our emails, information about Jeff and Ixone, and many of the things you’ve told us about yourselves.”