Education is best when it is guided by the community
- To: ACTNOW2003@yahoogroups.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, A-BHRP@yahoogroups.com
- Subject: Education is best when it is guided by the community
- From: ShopMathEdu@aol.com
- Date: Thu, 12 Jun 2003 20:20:45 EDT
The World of Opportunity (WOO) is a community-based social justice and civil
rights educational and job readiness program. We have the honor of working
with adults and young adults who have been pushed out of school or did not
complete their high school education.
Throughout the year, we listen to the dreams and aspirations of the students
who enroll in our program and we have tried to adapt and design WOO curriculum
to meet the needs of this community.
It is with great pride that we watch this WOO of ours "morph" into one
program and then another as the needs of our community change.
Two weeks ago, the public schools ended until Fall, and we saw a decrease in
our enrollment of teenagers, especially those studying for the GED. We still
have 10 or so pushed out teenagers each day, but far less than before Summer
vacation. We have seen this trend for three summers now.
But, practically simultaneously, our attendance has increased with the
children, grandchildren, nieces, and nephews of our own students. These youngsters
are coming to class with their parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, and
cousins. They are doing art projects, displaying their work on our walls, playing
(and sometimes studying) on the computer, reading, and generally making our
hair fall out or go grayer.
The presence of these children has resulted in our teenagers becoming role
models and mentors. That is what democratic student-centered, student-driven
curriculum is all about.
None of our students really even asked "permission" to bring their children.
They just brought them. The kids walk in, sometimes waddle in, they sign-up
on our attendance sheet, and go straight to play/work.
This society of ours has created (make that, embedded) several generations of
poverty and inequality. I am so proud that there is a community-based WOO
out here which is vibrant with several generations who are supposed to "lack
interest," all studying and playing and redefining education under one roof.
Thank you to one and all who supported the WOO both financially (with huge
and small contributions), with supplies (like the calculators from Florida which
just arrived), and especially with encouragement.
Please visit our website to learn about the 18 students who earned their GED;
or the 17 students who were inducted into the National Adult Education Honor
Society; or the 13 (soon to be 14) students who are enrolled in area colleges.
But, whose counting? Most of all, visit our website to see our students
enjoying themselves in this continuing education process.
Warmest peacebuilding greetings to one and all,
World of Opportunity
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