Princeton Internship in Civic Services Brings Emma Latham to Estes Park

Editor’s Note I: Emma Latham is a Princeton University junior who is interning at Eagle Rock for the summer. Emma is here as part of the Princeton Internships in Civic Service (PICS), which was established by the Princeton University Class of 1969 in the belief that community service is essential to the welfare of society. More than 800 Princeton University undergraduates have participated in PICS since its inception, with 10 or so interning at Eagle Rock since Eagle Rock’s founding in the early 1990s. Below is Emma’s take on her experiences so far at Eagle Rock — and some advice for those who want to become Eagle Rock School and Professional Development Center interns.

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I’m Emma, the summer intern from Jersey City, N.J., and I arrived on the Eagle Rock campus in mid-June. Following this trimester, I’ll be returning to Princeton University for my junior year. I am an ecology major — which means you can often find me on Rick’s Trail, crouched in the shrubs trying to identify a wild flower. Or that’ll be me with my face buried in a pine tree observing a trail of ants.

My family is in the restaurant business, so, naturally, I love cooking — and more important — I love eating. This means that if you can’t find me on the trail, I might be in the Lodge shoveling down the delicious creations of the Eagle Rock chefs (shout out to their buttery, flakey biscuits!)

Eagle Rock School student Djibril Cayolbah with Eagle Rock Summer Intern Emma Latham.

Eagle Rock School student Djibril Cayolbah with Eagle Rock Summer Intern Emma Latham.

I ended up at Eagle Rock because I wanted to Continue reading…

Reporting on Another Successful Explore Week

The effects of our most recent Explore Week — that staple of the Eagle Rock School experience whereby our students have the opportunity to learn about careers, hobbies, art, music, physical pursuits and other offerings that may not necessarily fit into the daily academic curriculum — are now being felt here on campus.

The latest installment of this thrice-annual event took place June 20-24 with students vying for learning experiences related to earthen building, canoeing through Canyonlands National Park, music, poetry, beauty and hair care.

Eagle Rock School Explore Week

In addition to a few of our own instructional specialists, Explore Week offers experiences presented by instructors from the community and as you’ll see below, Eagle Rock School alumni — all highly experienced in what they do.

Here’s a short recap of courses and instructors from our most recent Explore Week:

For those musically inclined students with an interest in turning their words into lyrics, the Songwriting, Stories, and Live Performance course was the perfect opportunity to complete songs that they might have started writing and put aside or put time into new materials that they wanted to turn into song. The course included a lot of interaction, discussions, writing activities — all capped by live musical performances by the students, completed individually and sometimes collaboratively.

About the instructors — Eric Ian Farmer, Ph.D and Juan Torres: Farmer is no stranger to Eagle Rock. He served as an intern from the fall of 1999 through the summer of 2000, and was an Eagle Rock School instructional specialist from the fall of 2005 through the summer of 2008. Torres studied music at the VanderCook College of Music in Chicago and now plays with the Estes Park Jazz Big Band and teaches concert, jazz, and marching percussion at schools in the Estes Park School District.

Led by a pair of street poets, Poetry of Initiation: From Pain to Purpose was best described as a writing and performance course fueled by the Continue reading…

Michael Soguero Hosts TeachingPartners Office Hour

Each week since the end of April, education startup TeachingPartners has been inviting classroom teachers and education thought leaders to share and learn from one another online. Using TeachingPartners.com and the hashtag #TPOfficeHour on Twitter, participants submit questions and thoughts about the week’s topic, and then gather at 6pm PT / 9pm ET on Thursday evening for a one-hour ‘edchat’ about the topic at hand.

Well in advance of each week’s production, TeachingPartners asks one thought leader or educator to share their own ideas and host the week’s Thursday night gathering online, also known as Office Hour.

TeachingPartners Michael Soguero

As you can see from the image above, this week, Eagle Rock’s own Michael Soguero is the host of TeachingPartners Office Hour. As Eagle Rock’s director of professional development, Michael has much to say about the Continue reading…

Strategic Plan Update: Co-Curricular Framework

Editor’s Note: Today’s post is the fifth in our series about the Eagle Rock strategic plan — Vision 2020. Below, Philbert Smith, our long-serving director of students, provides us with an update on his team’s efforts related to the Co-Curricular Framework domain. If you’re interested in learning about the overall aim of the plan, please read Head of School Jeff’s Liddle’s post: News From The Rock: Vision 2020.

Eagle Rock School student Kiyah used to describe himself as a problem child. From showing up late to classes and being unprepared, to having a general lack of focus and choosing not to participate in the community, Kiyah was the type of student who consistently got in his own way. “I tried to be “down” and cool,” he says, “but I was all over the place and no place at all — all at the same time.”

Sadly, Kiyah’s prior educational experience isn’t necessarily new or unique. For any number of reasons, high school students like him all across the nation become actively disengaged from their own education. And when that happens in large numbers, students, teachers and school administrators may choose to simply give up or give in to the apathy we so often hear about at the secondary school level.

Eagle Rock School Philbert Smith Blog post

Here at the Eagle Rock School & Professional Development Center, we’re on a mission to implement effective and engaging practices that foster each student’s unique potential in order to help young people like Kiyah use their minds to their top potential. And nowhere is that more evident than on our campus in Estes Park, Colo., where we actively engage our students in their own education.

Guiding our daily work is a strategic plan outlining seven “domains” and associated projects for which we — as administrators, faculty and staff — are accountable. And as our director of students, the fourth domain of that plan — the creation of a Co-Curricular Framework — happily falls in my hands.

As Jeff Liddle (Eagle Rock Head of School) noted when he first wrote about Vision 2020 here on the Eagle Rock blog last December, we’ve been hard at work creating a Continue reading…

Eagle Rock Students Overcome Fears and Take the Plunge

For people who grew up swimming like fishes, it’s hard to imagine how challenging it is to learn how to swim later in life. For people who don’t learn how to swim at an early age, the water — in even a placid pool — can be terrifying.

Among my favorite destinations at Eagle Rock School is our swimming pool, accessible to all students and staffed with Red Cross-certified student and staff lifeguards to keep everybody safe. In fact, one objective of our aquatics program is to make the pool available to students of all swimming abilities. This is particularly important in a diverse community such as the one that populates Eagle Rock.

Javonnie_Swimming_Eagle_Rock_School

Statistics show that in the United States, black children drown at a rate that is three times that of white children, and Latino children drown at double the rate of white children. Furthermore, children of any race who have parents who don’t swim have only a 17 percent chance of learning how to swim themselves.

But it’s far more likely that children from communities of color are likely to not only have parents who can’t swim, but probably don’t have Continue reading…