Sunday, October 24, 2010

Youth Coaches and Graduate Students Collaborate on Individualized Community Projects

At the Chestnut Library youth coaches and graduate students assembled to begin a collaborative project. Each graduate student sat at a different table, giving their project pitches to each of the high school youth coaches who visited their table. The youth coaches then decided on which individualized project they wanted to participate in.

The project proposals included:

1. A civics project with Kuna Tavalin. The youth coaches would address a change they wanted to see in Springfield whether it is in education, health care or poverty. After researching the issue they will write a letter to the governor of Massachusetts, which could lead to a meeting, and presentation of their findings. One coach told her that it sounded like a “hard, long process” while another commented on how they would have to write the letter in a persuasive manner to “catch their attention”.

2. A project that will address gender issues and stereotypes in sports with Kathleen Boucher. Kathleen and a youth coach will compile a manual of specific situations that could arise and the possible ways of dealing with the situation. A youth coach did explain the some of the elementary school girls on his team had complained that “the boys don’t want to play with us” while the boys complained that the girls were being mean to them. This is one situation that the manual could address.

3.Matthew MacKenzie‘s project focused on financial planning, setting up a savings account, or a checking account while trying to set lifetime habits that could include tracking money through services offered online. The youth coach working with him may act as a liaison between a specific bank and his/her school, helping the students set up saving or checking accounts. One youth coach commented that for every paycheck he gets he saves $10 of it.

4. Courtney Centeno pitched a photography project. Each week a youth coach will develop a different kind of photograph, working to incorporate different elements such as lighting, perspective, and setting. They will photograph a portrait and landscape, manipulating elements to show what the person or location they are photographing means to them. While at Courtney’s table, a youth coach explained how she “ always did black and white” so that the viewer of the photographs could fill in the colours they saw in their own mind.

5 .Matthew Samolewicz first showed the youth coaches that arrived at his table a Jackson Pollock painting. He and a youth coach will create a project in which movement and art will be combined. One youth coach suggested using music so that one would be using their entire body to paint. When shown a series of cardboard sculptures one youth coach said “It looks like some girl dancing salsa somewhere”.

. 6. A literacy project with Marquis Taylor. The youth coach will pick a couple of sports themed books and then create a community-based project, connecting their reading to specific actions. One youth coach was reading “A Brave New World” but said that he couldn’t relate to it. He had however, read the entire “A Series of Unfortunate Events”, which he described as “good from the beginning to the end”.

7. Anna Bartolini asked for the youth coaches input and offered two different projects, one on nutrition, bringing the second piece of a healthy lifestyle, healthy eating, combined with sports. She also proposed to start an anti-bullying campaign that would incorporate a community speaker. Each project will involve community outreach.

No comments:

Post a Comment