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Ephesus ES Teacher Wins Fulbright to Explore Iceland

Literacy Coach, Dr. Kimberly Mellor, at Ephesus Elementary School (EES) is going to Iceland this summer, and she couldn't be more excited. As one of only 16 recipients from the United States selected to attend a Fulbright-Hays Seminar Abroad in Iceland, Mellor made it through multiple rounds of the highly competitive process supervised by the U.S. Department of Education, and the awards were announced in an April 26 press release.

The group of sixteen K-8th grade educators chosen come from across the U.S. They will spend three and a half weeks in Iceland, exploring the country's culture and history, their arts and education system, as well as aspects of the environment in the Artic.

"Iceland’s culture and landscapes are spectacular and infused with narratives," Mellor said. "Icelanders’ ancient sagas are considered national treasures and central to their identity today. I look forward to researching sagas and oral traditions, which will blend seamlessly into into our 3rd and 4th grade ELA units on myths, legends, and folklore from around the world."

The organization Fulbright Iceland has designed the seminar to inspire participants to create "innovative curriculum development projects, to the benefit of their students, schools and communities back in the U.S. Mellor and her fellow educators will travel around the small island country, meeting with leaders, experts and other educators, many of whom are Fulbright award winners themselves. Their tours will focus on environmentally and culturally important sites, and they will strive to forge local connections in order to increase mutual understanding between the two countries.

Mellor said, "I also plan to build on an identity project I initiated with the support of our 5th grade PLC. Inspired by Iceland, I hope to create an oral storytelling platform to help students see the power in their own voices and their family traditions."