MCHS Leadership in Action students visit virtually with high school students in Poland

A group of McHenry Community High School educators and students are starting to build a partnership with high school students in Poland that could eventually lead to further projects to support Poland’s efforts to help refugees from Ukraine.

Following two live online meetings with English students at SLO No. 5, a school outside Warsaw, McHenry students and staff are making plans for students to connect over social media and to work on possible fundraising projects. 

School Counselor Gary Myers said he heard about the school in Poland from colleagues. Students in Poland are being graded on their conversations with their American counterparts. Online meetings focused on different questions about culture and life in Poland versus what it is like in the U.S.

Myers said McHenry has historically had a good amount of Polish students, and even had a translator on staff many years ago. 

“It’s just a natural fit for our school to partner up with a school in Poland,” Myers said.

Myers took the idea to the school’s Leadership in Action class, a yearlong course focused on community service, and scheduled two initial virtual meetings. More may be scheduled in the future.

Students asked each other questions about school culture, favorite music, politics and more. Some topics made students laugh at how similar they are, such as a shared interest in American rapper Da Baby.

Myers is hoping to involve the National Honor Society students, too, especially as fundraising projects for Ukraine develop from the partnership.

Senior Lynette Alsot, a Leadership in Action student, said it is interesting to see how much McHenry students have in common from students in Poland. She was also surprised at how much they knew about the U.S.

“It was such a neat opportunity,” Alsot said. “I’m really excited to learn more about them.”