Our MLK Jr. Weekend with TEAM Schools Kids!

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!

B&B IU members taking a photo by a statue downtown

B&B IU members take a photo in front of a statue downtown Newark on January 17, 2014.

– 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).

Jenny, from the TEAM Charter School Network, tells B&B IU members about charter schools.

Jenny, from the TEAM Charter Schools, tells B&B IU members about charter schools.

– 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!

B&B IU members David and Valerie take a group photo with kids in a THRIVE Elementary classroom! Photo By: Vera Marinova

B&B IU member David takes a group photo with kids in a THRIVE Elementary classroom!

– 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.

B&B members learn about each other during a session  on Friday, January 17, 2014

B&B members learn about each other during a session on Friday, January 17, 2014.

–  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!

Brie leads B&B members in a discussion about the Rwandan Genocide on Friday, January 17, 2014.

Brie leads B&B members in a discussion about the Rwandan Genocide on Friday, January 17, 2014.

–  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!

B&B members take a photo in Battery Park on Sunday, January 19, 2014.

B&B members take a photo in Battery Park on Sunday, January 19, 2014.

–  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.

B&B members wait to hear if they got the correct answer during a jeopardy game on Saturday, January 18, 2014.

B&B members wait to hear if they got the correct answer during a jeopardy game on Saturday, January 18, 2014.

– 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!

B&B members editing partners Abigail and Tatiana with their art tile project.

B&B members editing partners Abigail and Tatiana with their ArtWare creation on Saturday, January 18, 2014.

B&B Team member Kamil with his art tile project on Saturday, January 18, 2014.

B&B Team member Kamil with his ArtWare project on Saturday, January 18, 2014.

–  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!

B&B members Kamil, Tatiana, Laura and Taylor bond during their intensive editing workshop on Saturday, January 18, 2014.

B&B members Kamil, Tatiana, Laura and Taylor bond during their intensive editing workshop on Saturday, January 18, 2014.

Stay tuned for more posts from Books & Beyond IU and TEAM members about their personal MLK Jr. weekend reflections on education and social activism.

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