Run, don't walk, to your local bookstore and order this book. I'll wait here.
This book is exactly what I want this blog to be. Full of resources and ideas about how to expand our children's world even if we can't hop on a plane.
The book is written by a mother who wanted to bring more of the world to her daughter's lives. Starting with the idea that children can learn to be a friend to the whole human race, the book relates what friends would do as they get to know each other. Opening with a chapter called Be a Friend, the author Homa Sabet Tavangar reminds us of basic principles of how to make friends from different parts of the world - everything from remembering to separate a person from regional politics, to learning how to properly pronouce and use a new friend's name. There are lots of suggestions about how to expand your family's circle to include people you may not otherwise come in contact with.
Other chapers, entitled Greet Your Friend, Play, Go to School, Watch the World - Read a Movie, and Break Bread give excellent suggestions for activities and resources to help your family beome immersed in other cultures through language, games, sports, food, stories, music, movies and education. The chapters Celebrate and What Do They Believe delve into religion and culture, always with the goal of finding common ground and teaching children how to connect in respectful, genuine ways. The last chapter called Sustain Your Friendship talks about ways to put education and connection into action to widen our circle through giving and service, using the Millenium Development Goals as the starting point.
This book weaves through threads of respect and caring for both the children it aims to educate and the ideas, cultures and people it highlights. The ideas are easy to implement, the resources it recommends are excellent and incredibly thorough and applicable to a wide age range. It is an inspiring resource to help your children become citizens of the world.