As the IU students finally get adjusted back to school after the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Holiday weekend, we still want to reflect on our time with the TEAM School students! Here is a recap of some of the moments we will never forget!
– Eating and hanging out downtown Newark, New Jersey: There were a lot of great eatery places for us to explore while our editing partners were finishing up their school day. We even took a picture next to an amazingly busy statue!
– Learning about KIPP and TEAM Schools: On Friday, we went to Room 9, a KIPP region headquarters downtown Newark and talked to some of the influential leaders in this innovative educational system. They gave us a lot of information about what charter schools are and how they are funded. They also told us about certain problems that charter schools face, like having to rent space in traditional public schools or abandoned buildings. We learned about the lottery system for accepting students and many more interesting facts regarding the Knowledge is Power Program (KIPP).
– Visiting the Seek and THRIVE Elementary school students: What could be more fun than sitting in on an elementary school class on a fun Friday! We watched students learn about earthworms, practice dancing, sing and play musical instruments. Surprisingly, many of these very young students asked questions about what college life is like. Some students were also curious about what colors make up the color purple. Of course, we big kids had most of the answers for them!
– Meeting our TEAM Partners: The Story Editors Team carried out a lively discussion about Books & Beyond and the upcoming weekend events & activities, while at the same time, Global Village students got to meet and connect with their TEAM student partners. Many of the newcomers enjoyed looking through the classrooms and seeing what the students were working on.
– Having a hearty, worthwhile discussion about the Rwanda Genocide: After everyone got settled for the day, student director Brie Petty engaged students in an informative conversation about the horrific events that took place during the months of April-July 1994. B&B members watched the 2004 Academy Award nominated movie Hotel Rwanda. Afterwards, TEAM and IU students alike asked great questions concerning the aftermath of the genocide.
– Watching Africa United: On Saturday, we watched a lighter film about a group of young, Rwandan soccer enthusiasts who were trying to get to the FIFA World Cup in South Africa. We followed them throughout their long (though it seemed rather quick since it took about 2 hours) journey from the East to the South. We laughed and we cried at all the happenings in the film! Great choice, Vera! And thanks to Jeff for sharing your movie with us!
– Going to New York City on Sunday: After we left our TEAM partners, we went to the Big Apple to hang out and have a good time! Some of us took the Staten Island Ferry and enjoyed the view of the NYC skyline. Some of us went to Harlem and visited the Apollo Theater. Some of us went to cultural neighborhoods and ate Yiddish food. Others visited the ultra-famous Times Square. We really wished that the students at TEAM were with us!
– Learning about B&B and the B&B Jeopardy Game: This was definitely a bonding moment between IU and TEAM students. We broke up into two teams and answered questions about B&B and Rwanda in the fashion of the TV show trivia game: Jeopardy! There were howls of laughter from “Team Win” and from “Team Won”. Ultimately, “Team Won” got the prize.
– Working on the ArtWare Project: ArtWare Fundraising founder, Diana Polack talked to us about her latest project in terms of enhancing and promoting art education around the world. Her plan: to get middle school and high school students from the area to create art works in the form of alphabetical letters and turn them into small tiles to put in the Kabwende Primary Schools’ classroom walls. Both the IU and TEAM students had a blast making colorful collages, drawings, and even digital artistic compositions. We can’t wait to see the result on our Rwandan partner’s walls! Thank you, Mrs. Pollack and ArtWare!
– The Ultimate Bonding time with our TEAM School partners: Nothing beats spending time with our middle school and high school writing and editing partners in Newark, New Jersey. We worked hard editing the six editions of The World is Our Home to develop a nice and neat compiled 30 story anthology for our 7th edition of The World is Our Home. We definitely look forward to bringing 2,000 more books to our friends at Kabwende Primary School this summer!
Stay tuned for more posts from Books & Beyond IU and TEAM members about their personal MLK Jr. weekend reflections on education and social activism.