Changing the world… Yesterday, I was fortunate to speak to group of Newell-Fonda students committed to changing the world. English teacher, Amanda Mefferd, and art teacher, Katrina Thomas, are co-teaching the course that is empowering students to combine their passion with their learning to plan and implement service. The WE (Winter Explorium) two week course will inspire students to see that one person can truly make a difference, and the course will also help students plan and implement their quest. Numerous speakers and class trips are scheduled to help accomplish the learning goal. The power of technology in accomplishing the service goal is also being explored. As I thought about service, I thought about its role in education. Service is a way of life not an event. Mrs. Mefferd and Ms. Thomas are enthusiastic about empowering students and have designed a course aligning with that very theme. Students are challenged to consider and to explore their individual talents. Students are challenged to consider and to explore problems in our world, our nation, our state, our community…Students are supported to do all of that as they see models and learn from examples and hear the powerful stories of difference making.
There are stories. History provides ample evidence where one person with limited resources made a difference. History provides ample evidence where one person truly changed the course of history itself. The class is also exploring the power of our words and positive outlook. As I left, I was asked if I wanted to participate in their homework assignment. Mrs. Mefferd instructed me to draw a slip of paper from their class glass jar explaining my task would be scribed on the slip. My assignment: Tweet Gratitude. Literacy empowers. Reading the world, listening to the world, viewing the world, and reflecting are essential habits when committing to service. How can we know of the world’s problems if we never interact with the world? Technology connects us, and the connection can be used as an avenue for service along with an avenue for enlightenment.
The Newell-Fonda students I visited with yesterday are planning to change the world. I can’t wait to see their contribution.