After promoting the trip widely throughout the Burlington and Winooski school districts, and through community partners such as Voices for Vermont’s Children and Diversity Rocks, as well as outreach through teachers and our student leaders, we received nearly forty applications for a very limited number of slots. Though the quantity of applications made our decisions extremely difficult, we felt humbled and in awe of the range and quality of the applications we received. Some cool things we noticed–Better than a third were from freshman, which shows a curiosity and interest in the work on the part of younger students. And half were from students who are new Americans in our communities! Incredible.
Do students want to do this work? The answer is a resounding YES. It’s just finding ways to let them know and creating structures that support their authentic involvement.
Our trip will include a full day at the MET school complex. We are also partnering with some amazing community organizations around Providence, including Youth in Action. Check out their work. Our trip will also serve as a retreat for the students where they’ll get to practice community building, leadership skills, and learning how to cross the cultural, racial, and economic barriers that unfairly divide us in our communities and classrooms.
Perhaps the most innovative aspect of our trip is that we plan to film our work and make a short documentary feature that can be a learning tool for our group and the Partnership as a whole, both now and in the future. The Partnership’s New American Coordinator, Eric Agnero, a journalist and filmmaker, will accompany us to Providence and document our work so it can be shared and learned from. He is committed and has amazing ideas about how to build an exciting window into our trip so that our students’ journeys are documented.
Looking forward to sharing more.