Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Youth Empowerment: Take 2

I am so excited to be back in the classroom and teaching my second Youth Empowerment class! The first time around was a great success, but I feel like with that experience under my belt, this class will be infinitely more productive. I am using the lessons I learned to create an adjusted curriculum designed specifically for Kalleda’s own unique circumstances but also, I hope, to be used more generally at Bridges sites working with similar language barriers.

My current class is ten students, five new and five returning, who are in 8th, 9th and 10th classes. We are going to spend the first month building general skills in photography, English, public speaking, self-expression, storytelling, and investigation. Only then will we begin to explicitly address social issues. In the second month the students will pick a social issue to focus their digital stories on and put their new skills to use. The goal is that by the time they start the digital stories they will be so adept at the technical side of production that more time can be focused on investigating the issue, fleshing out the story, and getting creative with the photographs.

The organization that it will take to accomplish this goal is much assisted by the fact that I have my own laptop and classroom this time. At the very least I know that there is one computer with internet access everyday and our photos won’t have been deleted. Plus, having space to display the students’ work and our class goals is a great way to give them a sense of ownership and keep them on task. There’s also something inexplicably satisfying about walking into the classroom everyday and seeing our Youth Empowerment board!

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