Educational project allows children to virtually experience foreign countries

‘The Red Trunk Project’ enables children to experience different countries without a passport.
Although the educational project was thought of a few years ago, Upper Nyack resident Kevin Thomsen founded it this year.
Thomsen has two adopted children, one from the Republic of Georgia, the other from Ethiopia.
He says the idea came up when he began to think about the importance of learning different cultures.
"RED," an acronym for "Respect Every Difference" began in several area schools. Thomsen was on a mission to connect children to world cultures with a red trunk filled with artifacts and other hands-on activities from those respective areas.
Due to the pandemic, the Red Trunk Project transferred to digital platforms.
The project now offers activities for students in third-grade and above. Participants receive 10 20-minute interactive lessons packed with questions, videos, and more.
When asked what Thomsen hopes children receive from the experience, he says he hopes they gain an interest in traveling, appreciate people from other cultures and in return, kids will learn to appreciate their own culture more.
The Red Trunk Project is currently free for the remainder of the academic school year but requires a special code given by Thomsen for access.
News 12 is told the experience is already working on adding Kenya and Beijing themed trunks for the upcoming year.
PHOTOS: Your Hometown Heroes