Purnell Pairs with Students in Panama
Matthew McConnochie, M.S., Spanish Teacher, Soccer Coach, Advisor

Purnell School is proud to announce that it has officially joined with The Dream Scholarship, a unique opportunity to connect online with students in Panama for ongoing Spanish conversation practice and cultural sharing experience.

Students with an interest in improving their Spanish language skills will be communicating with Panamanian girls via Google Meet during selected Spanish classes. Purnell Spanish students also have the opportunity to apply for conversation pairings with the Panamanian students. To be paired with a Panamanian girl as a conversation partner, Purnell students must commit to speaking with the Panamanian students for 50% of the time in English. The Panamanian students commit to speaking 50% of the time in Spanish.

The Dream Scholarship Foundation is a non-profit 501 3c corporation founded by Leland Lazarus in 2014 to give underprivileged Panamanian students the opportunity to learn English and become English teachers. Developed through the U.S. Embassy in Panama and the University of Panama, the program selects Panamanian students with demonstrated financial need and career goals related to English and public service. It has provided Panamanian students with scholarships to study in the U.S. for each of the past six years.

The program is not a requirement for Purnell Spanish students, but all Purnell students with some Spanish are strongly encouraged to participate. The new 7-week language partner program will be a virtual experience due to the COVID-19 travel restrictions. Partners are expected to meet once a week for one hour.

Whether you're learning English or Spanish, you will surely improve your target language, and make a lifelong friend along the way!