Conrad C. Heede e-mailCCHeede@aol.com D - 5790 Governor - 1991-92 Bus (817) 336-0321 D - 5790 Rotary Foundation Chairman - 1994-98 Fax (817) 282-2400 R.I.T.E Chairman - 1992-99 Res (817) 268-1612 Member of the Poverty & Hunger Alleviation Task Force
R.I.T.E. is a cultural exchange of teachers between participating countries. The teachers teach their language for approximately one month in a host country to any students that have a need and/or a desire to learn that language. In return, the teachers learn about the people, the language and the culture of the host country, which they can then relate to the students and other teachers in their own communities. The overall purpose of this program is to promote international understanding, goodwill and peace.
The specific objectives of R.I.T.E. are:
To teach practical foreign
language skills to students in the host country who want to learn and who would
benefit from a working knowledge of that teacher’s language. For example, an
2. For the teachers to learn/improve their knowledge of the host country’s language.
3. For the students and Rotarians in the host country to learn more about the culture of the teacher’s country through direct interactions with the teachers in and outside the classroom.
4. For the teachers to learn about the host country’s culture, customs, history, geography, etc. This international experience will provide the teachers with greater empathy and understanding for the people of the host country and they will be able to relate this new knowledge and understanding to students and other teachers in their own schools.
A tentative schedule for the U.S. Mexico exchange has been set up for the coming year. This schedule is flexible (exchanges between other countries may have quite different schedules) and can be adapted to fit the needs of the host country and the availability of the teachers:
Teachers depart : July 2nd or 3rd
Registration : July 3rd to 4th
Classes begin : July 4th
Classes end : July 29th
Teachers return : July 30th or 31st
Rotary clubs sponsor teachers. They select and screen teacher candidates using appropriate criteria to evaluate teaching skills and ambassadorial qualities. The clubs pay a sponsorship fee, which provides round trip transportation for the teacher. A Rotary district committee interviews the candidates, makes the final selections and arranges for the transportation. The sponsoring Rotary club has the responsibility to educate the selected teachers about Rotary and should invite the teachers to visit their club before they leave and to schedule them to present a program after they return from their experience.
The Rotary clubs in the host country provide room and board, normally in their own homes and provide local transportation. They also find the students, obtain suitable classrooms and involve the teachers in family, club and other cultural activities in the local community. An opportunity should be provided for the teachers to learn the host country’s language, perhaps from some of their students who are also teachers.
The teachers are volunteers and they do not charge for the courses. The teachers provide the teaching materials adapted to best meet the needs of each particular class. The classes are set up according to size, type of student and/or language ability of the students. The teachers can teach as many as three 2-hour classes (up to 30 students per class) per day. The classes are scheduled according to the availability of the students. The teachers pay a $25 application fee and must have medical insurance good in the host country.
The teachers may be either male or female, Rotarian or not, of any age or race. They must be able to teach their own language. They should have some knowledge of the host county’s language, be willing to learn and in some cases they will be required to be fluent in that language. Most of all, they need to be ambassadors of their country and of Rotary. They must be flexible and adaptable realizing that the teaching and living conditions may be different than what they are used to in their own communities. The teachers should research the area they are going to. The teacher applications will be sent to the host country’s Rotary clubs in advance and there should be some direct communication between the receiving clubs and the teachers prior to departure.
At present there are R.I.T.E. opportunities for teachers
Funding: Normally, the sponsoring Rotary club pays the sponsorship fee, which is basically the cost of round trip transportation plus a small amount to cover administration costs. However, the New Opportunities Grant program can be used for this program and a Group Study Exchange can be set up utilizing this program as the curriculum. Rotarian teachers might use the Grants for Rotary Volunteers program. The teachers themselves may also be as