February 23, 2010
I had an opportunity to work closely with CW and participated in some of the school projects they initiated with teachers. The integration of art into the literacy experience was so powerful. And the culminating events that included families were always very touching--seeing people who could very well have felt marginalized in the public school system were instead having their stories and their heritage celebrated. Every one of us was richer for the experience--the students in how they broadened their understanding of others, how they re-presented their experiences through art, and how they worked through a rigorous process for writing their family stories; the teachers in how they gained deeper insights to the students with whom they worked as well as some practices (such as integrating the arts) that enhanced the literacy experience; the families in their strengthened connections with the school community. I recently invited CW to come and speak to my graduate students, because I wanted them to learn about the many ways they might incorporate their students' heritage into literacy projects, and about the way one organization leads the way in doing this.
What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...
...how empowering the activities are for the students and their families.
The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...
...dedicated, sensitive to the needs of classroom teachers and their students, and knowledgeable about teaching writing.
How frequently have you been involved with the organization?
About once a year
When was your last experience with this nonprofit?
Former staff & I provided some program evaluation for the organization, looking at all levels of the experience (from the involvement of the teachers, to the quality of the writing samples generated by students, to the responses of family members, to the views of the ad.