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Bria and Brian Zeuli will be leaving baby Emmett behind when they journey to Belize next month and take Hudson Middle School students on a virtual journey with them. They will work with HMS teachers Mike Yell, right, and Chris Glover. It is the first trip of its kind for the couple’s new education initiative, The Learning Cycle.” Star Observer photo by Meg Heaton

Local couple take HMS students along for the ride

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news River Falls, 54022
River Falls Wisconsin 2815 Prairie Drive / P.O. Box 25 54022

Hudson Middle School students will be getting an upclose experience of Mayan culture without ever leaving their campus thanks to a local couple and a new educational initiative they are launching.

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The Learning Cycle is the brainchild of Brian and Bria Zeuli of Hudson. Mayan Mysteries is their pilot program. The idea is to bring cultures from around the world into the classroom to engage students with other cultures and to “ignite a passion to learn, travel, explore and accept other cultures.”

The Zeulis love to travel, love children and are committed to using technology to enhance the classroom experience. Bria Zeuli has always loved the idea of traveling and learning about other cultures and places in the world. She recalls a large bound collection of National Geographic magazines that she poured over as a child imagining the places she would love to visit.

 Brian recalled his bike trip across the country, some 2,800 miles, in 1997. He was approached by a teacher who suggested that her students would enjoy following him cross county and learning about his travels. Using a laptop and email, he ended up with a following of close to 10,000 students.

Years later with advancements in technology, the Zeulis have put together a travel experience that they will share with Hudson Middle School students that will put them at the center of the couple’s trip to Belize to explore both ancient and modern Maya. They will  meet with students prior to departure. Once in Belize, they will provide daily updates and videos of ruins, and a village homestay. They will do a live video chat from a remote Kek’chi Indian school and show students what daily life is like for their peers there. Students will also get  “hands on” with artifacts the Zeulis will bring back to create a  “Museum of the Mayan”  at the school.

HMS social studies teacher Mike Yell is working with the Zeulis and is excited about this new experience for his students. “We have the technology at the school to make this something really amazing for the kids. And the timing is great. Mayan studies will be a part of the social studies curriculum next year.”

The curriculum for the project is being developed by  graduate students in education from UW-River Falls who will work with the school and the Zeulis. Upon their return, the Zeulis will make a presentation at the school to meet with students and discuss what everyone has learned.

The Learning Cycle is a non-profit organization. Support and funding is being collected on Indiegogo, a platform for donors.

For more information about The Learning Cycle  and the Mayan Mysteries trip go to facbook.com/TheLearningCycle or to make a donation go to www.indiegogo.com/projects/the-learning-cycle. To contact the Zeulis go to brianzeuli@yahoo.com or call (715)410-8077.

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