Our most recent Explore Week here at Eagle Rock served a pair of purposes. First, it enabled our instructors to catch their second wind and prepare for future coursework. Second, it gave our students the opportunity to be engaged in activities they normally wouldn’t have time for during the regular trimester.
Our latest such Explore Week was in late October, and our students were treated to a variety of classes and events that ranged from art expeditions to the stress-relieving benefits of beating on a drum. The week was highlighted with guest artists and speakers, as well as a few Eagle Rock staffers who just happen to have their own special interests that proved interesting enough to stir student interest.
Some of the activities conducted during Explore Week included:
- Student leaders Ashalou and Aaron Simon were co-leaders for the 2014 Orientation Class for our newest students.
- Students Emelia, Javonnie, Desiree, Cristian, Cat and Yeshra traveled with Cindy Elkins (Visual Art Instructional Specialist), Dayna Safferstein (Public Allies Visual Arts Fellow) and Niko Viglione Public Allies Human Performance Center Fellow) to Santa Fe, New Mexico, on an art expedition.
- Criminal attorney William Galloway brought students Rahmel, Daisy, Melvin, Jenny, Aaron, Levi, DJ, Jared and Carson up to date on their rights as U.S. citizens. His presentations included preserving rights while interacting with the police, as well as the history behind some landmark U.S. Supreme Court decisions. Through popular culture references — such as Jay-Z’s hit “99 Problems” — sprinkled with an abundance of courtroom “war stories,” Galloway turned the Bill of Rights and a couple of hundred years of Supreme Court decisions into an interesting and meaningful experience.
- Estes Park Rotary Club members heard Eagle Rock students Hunter, Mikaela, Cassandra, Sonja, Kiyah, Marty and Khalil share their passions, fears, struggles and identities.
- Kane Smego, an international street poet and youth worker, inspired ER students and staff alike by sharing his pieces throughout the week.
- Eagle Rock instructional specialists Dan Hoffman (Language Arts) and Diego Duran-Medina (Societies & Cultures) took a crew to the Minor Disturbance poetry slam in Denver where Eagle Rock student Hunter took home first place with the piece he created in Kane Smego’s Explore Week class. (Editor’s Note: Want to see Hunter perform? Check out the video at the end of today’s post!)
- Head of School Jeff Liddle returned for a second round of Explore Week teaching as he assisted Tim Toliver with “The Fennix Project,” which included personal growth, CrossFit and leadership tips.
- Finally, music instructor Meghan Tokunaga-Scanlon, her hubby Juan, and Public Allies music fellow Andrew Walker spent the week teaching a percussion class to students Saben, Maya, Ebony and Isiah. Their music performance incorporated so many varieties of percussion instruments from around the world that it was truly impressive to hear how great the group sounded. As an added bonus, Ebony and Isiah both discussed how great of a stress reliever beating on a drum can be.
Our next Explore Week takes place Feb. 23–Feb. 27, 2015, after which we’ll post an update about the fun and insightful classes and activities our students and staff partook in. In the meantime, sign me up for the next ladies round of Jeff Liddle and Tim Toliver’s course, because it’s past time for me to learn how to avoid power struggles and find inner calm during conflict!
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About The Author: As a professional development associate, Anastacia Galloway does a lot more than just coordinate POLs (presentations of learning), recruit panelists and create schedules here at the Eagle Rock School & Professional Development Center. In fact, most of her time is spent working with schools and organizations across the country to reengage youth in their own education. In just the past year, Anastacia has worked in Vermont on everything from service thesis projects to proficiency-based graduation requirements. She has facilitated protocols with visiting groups on projects or dilemmas they are experiencing in their schools and facilitated workshops for our licensure candidate.