Today is the day! In two hours my English 9 students will be sharing their projects with community members, parents, teachers, and peers. For the past few months we've been studying Social Action and what it looks like in the lives of everyday people right here in Keith County as well as what Social Action looks like in history--specifically, during the Civil Rights Movement. Students grappled with the horrifying injustices during the Civil Rights Movement, and they worked hard to understand Dr. Martin Luther King Jr's text Letter from a Birmingham Jail. Students were tasked with taking their own action in the community to help someone. They had to come up with a plan, research to prove that action needed to be taken, act, and then reflect on their action. Many of them have worked SO hard on these projects. I have 13-16 year olds taking on projects that many adults wouldn't or haven't taken on! A few weeks ago they wrote business letters to people in our area informing them about and inviting them to project night, so tonight they'll get to show off their hard work to those interested.
It's been an exhausting process. I woke up about 1 or 2 AM last night and tossed and turned with nerves until 5 when I finally fell asleep again. I about went crazy today as I tried to answer all the last minute questions students had and keep track of all I still needed to do for tonight. But...to see students working so hard to make positive change in the community is totally worth it. Even if it's not 100% of my students working hard....I have so many who have really thrown themselves into this project: two students are planning a 5k fundraiser run, two students used their passion for music to perform on the piano for residents in a local nursing home, one student organized a soup supper benefit to raise money for our local CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocates) group, two students who are passionate about treating SPED kids equally created a totally endearing poster featuring some of our SPED kids doing things they love to show that they're people with emotions and hobbies, one student who struggles so much in school read to pre-schoolers a few weeks ago and then created the coolest poster over her project, two girls I wrote about last week put on the youth basketball camp, two boys put around plastic bottle recycling containers around the building and took their first load to the recycling center today and recycled 7 lbs of plastic bottles....I could go on and on. Even if I'm nervous about those few students who may not show up or even complete a project, tonight I'm beaming with pride at the kids who have worked their tails off on their projects. I can't wait to see them show off their stuff!
I'll post photos from the evening later this week...and the news station from North Platte visited my classroom today, so if they post the video on the news, I'll post it here.