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NYer Of The Week: Jenny Buccos Uses Worldwide Travels To Educate City Children

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This week's New Yorker of the Week has clocked countless miles traveling around the world to help educate kids in the city. NY1's John Schiumo filed the following report.

In the past 10 years, Jenny Buccos has traveled to more than 50 countries.

She's toured caves, petted lions and flown through mountain ranges, but the Park Slope resident says her favorite place to be is here in New York City, surrounded by students.

"Visiting classrooms is the best part of my job," Buccos says.

Buccos is the founder of projectexplorer.org, a nonprofit that creates free educational videos introducing students to the sights, sounds and customs of foreign countries. She started the project in the wake of the September 11th attacks.

"In that post-9/11 climate, I started to sense a fear in the general public of what they didn't understand, anything that was foreign, and that didn't match the experience that I had when I traveled," Buccos says.

Her organization has helped countless students take virtual vacations all over the world. Buccos tailors the videos to give students the information they need to take standardized tests.

"When we filmed in Canada, for example, we filmed the science of curling, and the science of friction, and the conservation of momentum," she says.

She helps bring these concepts alive by visiting classrooms.

"We come in and we screen, and kids can ask us questions about any of the information they see in videos," Buccos says. "We sometimes bring in instruments. We bring in food. We bring in some of the clothing."

"It was pretty cool that she traveled all around the world and taught other people about other countries," says student Olivia Lupo.

"She's someone that I really look up to, in terms of just her being a woman in this field," says student Kelly Wu.

Buccos' work has earned praise from President Barack Obama, who named her a White House Champion of Change last year.

She says she's just happy to see the importance of global education finally receiving recognition.

"If we're not preparing our students to enter a global workforce, we're not preparing our students at all," she says.

So, for helping students expand their horizons without leaving the classroom, Jenny Buccos is NY1's latest New Yorker of the Week.

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New Yorker of the Week
75 Ninth Avenue, 6th Floor
New York, NY 10011

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