An exciting new distance learning program has been announced by the The Hershey Company, as in the candy company. The Hershey to Grow: Ghana Distance Learning Program was a collaboration between the M.S. Hershey Foundation, Hershey Story Museum, Milton Hershey School, Cisco, and partners in Africa, which include Ghana Education Service, Ghana Cocoa Board, the Assin Fosu school, and Source Trust. The new program links school children in Hershey, Pennsylvania, where the company is headquartered, to school children in Ghana through high-definition, real-time technology.

Through this virtual classroom, 80 elementary school children in both Hershey and Ghana will together learn a curriculum that was jointly developed by both Hershey and Ghana teachers. Cisco provided the high-definition video technology, and the lessons will be led by teachers from both schools, as well as educators from the Hershey Story Museum.

It is no coincidence that the Hershey Co. is engaging Ghana, which is one of the highest cocoa-producing areas in the world. This new project is part of The Hershey Company’s new campaign aimed to improve the lives of families who are producing cocoa. Both sets of students will learn about all phases of cocoa production, and exactly what happens from the time it is harvested, to the time it is ultimately in its final form. Hershey students will learn about cocoa growing and harvesting, and Ghana students will learn how their cocoa is turned into chocolate items, and even get to taste the final chocolate products, with many of them having never tried chocolate.

The virtual classroom will take place every two weeks, with six lesson plans over three months. The ultimate goal is to help both sets of students understand just how both of their worlds are connected, and about each other’s cultures. To learn more about The Hershey to Grow: Ghana Distance Learning Program, visit their website.