Friday, November 28, 2014

My Change the World project

It's the season where my seniors choose projects and mentors and their futures. They amaze me with their creativity again this year. Inspired by our local food bank, Food for People, a group has decided to volunteer as gleaners for valley farms to donate produce to food banks and weekend backpack programs for kids, and another group from our HROP culinary program has committed to offering a multi-part cooking class for food-insecure members of the community, featuring donated produce and food bank foodstuffs. Another group has decided to take on public education about the risks of electronic cigarettes and the writing of county and city policies to prohibit their use in public. Worried about salmon and trout endangered by non-native squawfish populations, one group plans a fishing tournament to eradicate squawfish and encourage their fishing.

They do cool stuff. Last year, a student asked what my project would be, and his classmate piped up, "Um, duh. We're her project." I had to smile.

This year, I challenged myself to stretch out of my comfort zone and do what I can to make service project-based learning more accessible to different schools. I'm working with my good friend Rose Francia at Hoopa Middle School to write service curriculum for her 8th grade classes.

And I've decided to share the paperwork I've used with my seniors in the hopes that other schools can build from my efforts. I hope you find the shared folder useful on your journey to integrate service PBL into your literacy curriculum. I'd appreciate feedback. What could I do to help?

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Flight and Ferguson

As anchored as I sometimes feel,
the birds swooping overhead remind me of


Winging in broad arcs
riding thermals I can’t see,
they don’t think of me,
don’t watch me in the day, or the dark.

All summer
They’ve been imprinted on the blue
Soundless and free over my
Car, walk, errands, cry,
Reminding me I can fly.

I don’t know what it would be like
If that feeling of flight was
Taken as casually as men in power
Took the lives of black sons in hoodies.

I see power, grace, flight.
If my children were in danger for being white,

Would I just see vultures?

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Change the World

You can check out last year's Change the World video.

Thank you Tia McNaughton, Kyle Franck, and John Gearheart!

Or see the new logo:

Thank you Daniel Holmes!

But I'm also working on students starting their projects this year and still looking for a few more mentors. Anyone an expert on homeless in the Eel River Valley, perhaps someone from River Life Foundation? I'm also looking for someone who knows about translation volunteering, someone who specializes in health care for the Spanish-speaking community, and someone wanting to take on a benefit concert for music education for our area schools.

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Experiment in found art

I really enjoy making a very different statement out of a home construction manual. My daughter and I played with gel pens and messages one afternoon. It's not my normal form of expression, but that's why it's worth doing. Reading the work of Austin Kleon sometimes inspires me and my students to think new thoughts.
 Steal Like an Artist