Thursday, July 12, 2007
Brussels was an amazing city, especially because Ankita was there to present her projects. The hotel was nice. The conference lacked participants and better logistical organization, but there we met four amazing people.
1. Our co-presenter Adrienne Marshall who shared her program and gave us ideas on how to improve ours. We even found a building her school, Phillps Andover Academy helped build in a town near Brussels.
Bart Dankaeris from the International School in Brussels: www.isb.be, a social studies teacher who remembered Carrie"04 from the NYLC presentation in Minneapolis. His students were preparing for a youth-led service conference. After time spent with Ankita"08, Bart is considering having his students read High Noon and discuss it with Casady Cyclones interested in global problems and possible solutions. UPDATE (March 1, 2008): This actually happened. We have had sporadic, but meaningful communication with the kids from Brussels: See a website managed by a freshman student, Josh'11: http://web.mac.com/casadycrier/iWeb/Challenge%202020%20Website/Home/Home.html
Yolande Iliano, attended Ankita's presentation and stayed for a while trying to find more details because Ankita's project had elements of something she was doing with her students. Yolande is a computer and foreign language teacher at St. Joseph School in Brussels: http://www.ens.irisnet.be/3046//index.htm, a free Catholic School. Yolanda is also the President of WCRP-Belgium (World Conference on Religion and Peace). Yolanda has several amazing service-learning projects with her Saint Joseph elementary school students http//www.stjosephuccle.be. After spending time with Ankita Yolanda hopes to come to Oklahoma in November to observe the Casady Cans Do Project. She is hoping to bring students and teachers. Ankita and I will ask permission for Casady to host this wonderful group. I hope my YAC and our Lower Division will consider a service partnership with her school. I also see possibilities for our French classes. We will see what time and our effort to make this opportunity a reality will bring. Update (March 1, 2008) This never happened. We lost communication with this teacher, but her work and passion for peace education inspired me to undertake a new project at school called PEACE JAM.
4. Dr. Robert Shumer, a lecturer from the Department of Curriculum and Instruction at the University of Minnesota. He has contacts with researchers at the University of Oklahoma. He is a resource for statistical analysis of our program. He also offered to help us finding cheaper accomodations for the NYLC conference in Minneapolis. Update(March, 1, 2008) I wrote an e-mail to Robert telling him that I am taking a group of 5 students and our school librarian to the Minneapolis Conference. I have not heard back from him yet. It sure be nice to see him again.
It was nice to hear the author of High Noon talk about his book and to find out that if we go to Peru next summer; he wants to come with us. Update (March 1,2008) His book has been difficult to read this year. We do not seem to have time to read and have hands on activities, bring guest speakers, see the inconvenient truth and plan local solutions to the problem of global warming. We undertook fundraising against poverty at the beginning of the year with the Challenge 20/20 group.