From the Blog
Terrified that we were going to have to facilitate in Hmong, but eager for the opportunity to educate our own community, we agreed to present at the 2014 Empowering Youth Conference on the achievement gap. This was the very first conference the Hmong Nationalities Organization created for Hmong youth around the country.
There are a few types of GSN users. Some visit once and scarcely return (we wish this weren’t so, but such is life). Some are regular visitors you may not even know were there. They take advantage of professional development offerings on the site — webinars, spotlight videos, and more. Others still populate the GSN with their own service-learning projects and ideas, sharing their work so that others can replicate, improve, and generate new experiences for students.
An advantage of service-learning projects is that they often have a beginning, middle, and an end. This structure makes them appear manageable, even doable, and, as a result, more attractive to otherwise hesitant teachers. There is comfort in the routine of starting something when you know you can finish it. We educators are also a community of list writers who — whether we like to admit it or not — feel a constant and nagging pressure to “cover” our curricula. Even our favorite units must one day come to an end out of a need to forge ahead.
Last Friday morning at 7:00 a.m. I drove my daughter Emily and I to a parking lot in Minneapolis to board a shuttle bus to the Lake Harriett Bandshell. As we disembarked the bus, I thought the crowd looked light until I saw the line we needed to stand in to make it through security – it ran down the block, wrapped around the corner and up a hill. What would draw over 3,000 people to stand in line at 7:00 a.m. on a Friday morning? No, it wasn’t One Direction, it was the President of the United States.
President Obama had come to Minnesota for a visit, drawn to the state by a letter from a local mother who wanted to share her frustration and desire for change with the President. Before taking the stage at the bandshell the President visited local eateries, met with officials, and had lunch with Rebekah Erler, the woman who wrote the letter.