Hei Suomi! Program
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Hei Suomi! Program

GlobeHei Suomi! Program In A Nutshell

Hei Suomi! is a collaborative project between South Range Elementary School, Finlandia University, the University of Lapland and the Finnish American Heritage Center.  The main aim of the program is to enable South Range Elementary School's third graders to learn about contemporary Finnish culture and language. The program builds on the strong Finnish heritage in South Range and surrounding areas. The program was piloted in the spring of 2012, and will continue on an annual basis. As part of the program, third graders at the South Range Elementary School  will have visiting teachers from Finland in their classroom each spring.

During the month of March of 2012  two Finnish education students from the University of Lapland, Miss Sanna-Mari Suopajärvi and Miss Eeva Holappa, explored Finnish culture, geography, history, nature, language, traditions, and Finnish children's everyday lives with the young students. South Range Elementary third grade teachers Steve Aho and Lisa Pyykkonen provided support and assistance. The Finnish education students employed teaching methods that both took advantage of modern educational technologies and allowed students to be active participants and explorers.

Each year, Hei Suomi! will be realized during the month of April. For more information, visit the Hei Suomi! blog at http://heisuomiprogram.blogspot.com/

Media appearances:

Mrs. Ritva Koukku-Ronde, Ambassador of Finland to the United States, is the protector of Hei Suomi! Program.

Ritva Koukku-Ronde, Ambassador of Finland

    Hei Suomi! Program Aims

    • To enhance pupils' opportunities to learn about contemporary Finnish culture & language
    • To explore the Finnish heritage in the UP
    • To promote Michigan Grade Level Content Standards
    • To promote the Common Core State Standards for English Language Arts & Literacy in History/Social Studies
    • To promote global understanding
    • To engage in pedagogical exchange with Finland whose students are among the best in PISA surveys
    • To enrich school faculty
    • To strenghten collaboration between Finlandia University and University of Lapland
    • To strengthen collaboration between Finlandia University and local schools

    Hei Suomi! Program Coordinators

    • Päivi Rasi, University Lecturer in Media Education, University of Lapland, Faculty of Education, Centre for Media Pedagogy, paivi.hakkarainen@ulapland.fi
    • Tinja Määttä (2014), Student in the Media Education Program, University of Lapland, Faculty of Education, oautonen@ulapland.fi 

    Hei Suomi! Program Partners

    South Range Elementary School

    • Tim Keteri, Superintendent
    • Kim Harris, Principal
    • Steve Aho and Lisa Pyykkonen, 3rd Grade Teachers

    Finlandia University and the Suomi College of Arts & Sciences

    • Fredi de Yampert, VP for Academic Affairs
    • Terri Martin, Office of Academic Affairs
    • Christine O'Neil, Dean and Associate Professor of Sociology
    • Hilary-Joy Virtanen, Assistant Professor of Finnish Studies

    University of Lapland, Faculty of Education, Finland

    • 2014 students: Tinja Määttä, Student in the Media Education Program and Ekku Toivonen, Student in the Class Teacher Training Program
    • 2013 students: Olli-Pekka Autonen, Student in the Media Education Program and Matleena Heikkilä, Student in the Class Teacher Training Program
    • 2012 students: Eeva Holappa, Student in the Class Teacher Training Program and Sanna-Mari Suopajärvi, Student in the Media Education Program
    • Päivi Naskali, Professor of Women's Studies, Dean
    • Anneli Lauriala, Professor of Teacher Education
    • Outi Kyrö-Ämmälä, Senior Lecturer in Teacher Education, Teaching Placement Coordinator, Vice Dean

    Finnish American Heritage Center

    • James Kurtti, Director