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Exchange program brings Brazilian educators to Hall County
Program with World Language Academy promotes bond between cultures
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Interpreter Glenia Alexandre takes a photo of visiting Brazilian educators and World Language Academy's gifted fourth-grade class Thursday at the school. Brazilian school principals Neliany De Campos Manhaes Marinho, at left, and Quiteria Alves Calado De Melo, far right, pose with students and academy Principal Carrie Woodcock, center left, and teacher Maite Perez-Rohlfs, center right. - photo by NAT GURLEY

A team of Brazilian educators has landed in Hall County.

Neliany de Campos Manhaes Marinho of Rio de Janeiro and Quiteria Alves Calado de Melo of Alagoas will spend the next two weeks in Georgia, hosted by Hall County Schools and the World Language Academy.

“We’re loving it,” de Campos Manhaes Marinho said in Portuguese through a translator. “We haven’t been here before, and it’s just amazing.”

They said the only cultural difference in their trip, at least so far, is the language.

“The human temperature is the same,” de Campos Manhaes Marinho added.

Landing Wednesday in Georgia, the first order of business was Thursday’s breakfast at The Oaks at Lanier Charter Career Academy.

“Our house is your house,” Hall Superintendent Will Schofield said at the event. “We’re so glad that you’re here.”

Also present was Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle, who has visited Brazil twice.

“We have worked very, very hard to make education a No. 1 priority” in Georgia, he said. “And we will continue to do that, because it is the future that we’re focused on, and that’s our children.”

Over their time here, de Campos Manhaes Marinho and Alves Calado de Melo will visit several schools in the Hall system to learn about different learning programs, as well as the University of North Georgia and the University of Georgia.

“We’ll be going to visit the consul general from Brazil,” Associate Principal Carrie Woodcock said. “We have an appointment with him, and multiple representatives in the Brazilian consulate.”

World Language Academy received the Educational Seminars Exchange Grant for Administrators over the summer, having recently implemented a Portuguese curriculum for interested students.

The exchange program is set up to share educational ideas between American and Brazilian school administrators. As part of the grant, Principal David Moody will visit Brazil next August.

As for the next two weeks, there will also be some downtime. Today, the foreign guests will be treated to an evening on the square in downtown Gainesville, listening to music and enjoying one of the restaurants.

World Language Academy will receive $500 per visiting administrator to aid in meals out and other special events.

The grant is sponsored by the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, the U.S. Department of State, the National Council of State Secretaries of Education — CONSED/Brazil and the U.S. Embassy Brasilia Public Affairs Section.

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