Creating Synergy With Primary Source Sponsor EF Education

18 March 2014

With a name that is synonymous with their passion, EF Education First commits themselves every day to their mission of breaking down barriers of culture, language and geography. Primary Source began partnering with EF on study tours to give our teachers an exceptional professional development experience. As our partnership has evolved, so has EF's annual support. "Primary Source shares our mission for bringing global education into the public education system" says Kate Berseth, Executive Vice President, North America. "There's a real synergy to what we do."

How did EF's relationship with Primary Source begin?
We met Primary Source during a time when school districts were beginning to commit themselves to global education and there was a real need for exceptional education travel programs. With our years of experience taking students on study tours and Primary Source's deep content knowledge around our tour destinations, we recognized a real collaboration opportunity. We first began providing travel infrastructure support for Primary Source teacher tours. A few short years later, we began contracting with Primary Source to provide the curriculum and coursework we needed as we expanded our own professional development study tour offerings. I'll never forget talking to [Former Primary Source Executive Director] Kathy Ennis about our tours. She said, "Anyone can go on a study tour, but what makes it professional development is the content."

How do you see our complementary work growing?
There has been a true evolution of global education and global travel. Schools are committed to finding ways for students to have an international experience. Professional development teacher tours have become an extension of that – a way to educate teachers and administrators on the importance of global education and give them the tools they need to promote global competence. Additionally, teachers and students no longer want to be passive tourists. They're looking for a more authentic and engaging experience. We are thrilled to provide these experiences, and Primary Source provides the content that makes those experiences even richer.

What drives EF's decision to sponsor Primary Source?
As an organization, our philanthropic giving typically takes the form of scholarships. However, this is different. Primary Source has a direct connection to our mission and a true desire to provide educators and students with opportunities to broaden their own global understanding. You have deep relationships with schools and districts, and a passion for providing experiential learning. There's a real opportunity not only to build on our mutual programs right here in our own backyard, but to expand nationwide in new and exciting directions.

Together with EF's support, Primary Source is leading an Education Delegation to China this summer. Over twenty school leaders and district administrators will travel to Beijing, Xi'an, and Shanghai to consider the similarities and differences between the Chinese and U.S. educational systems. Stay tuned to read about their experiences in our July newsletter.




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