Preparing for takeoff

above: two students admiring the produce at the community garden at Hunts Mill in East Providence. They visited after they got a tip from Farm Fresh RI as part of their research into food insecurity and community gardens 

Gordon's annual eighth grade service learning project gives soon-to-be graduates a running start as they leave Maxfield Avenue and become forces for positive change in the world beyond Gordon.

This spring, the eighth grade team has reimagined the annual service learning project to find ways to connect students with the community while staying safe.

 

above: Julia Twitchell talks with students about environmental racism in Rhode Island

Each morning, students are investigating how big topics are playing out in the local community, and developing projects in three major areas: inequities in education, inequities in criminal justice, and environmental justice.

In the afternoon, they are participating in a series of electives that also connect them with the larger community, on-campus and off-campus. 

 

above: students are learning carpentry basics while constructing a gaga pit as a gift for younger Gordon students

For the morning projects and the electives, students have been connecting with dozens of community leaders via email, Zoom, or in person. Some of the visitors to Gordon's campus over the past two weeks include:

Botanist Hope Leeson and wetlands scientist Tom Kutcher, talking about Gordon's pond
Damian Ewens '90 building wonderwebs in Elf Village
Walker Mettling teaching comics in the dining hall
Mauro Hantman of Trinity Rep working with kids to build a gaga pit and teaching improv
Jake Castro coaching a soccer clinic on Engle Field
Eli Nixon gave a workshop on community activism
Author and psychiatrist Christine Montross gave a talk on mental health and prisons
Carlon Howard spoke with students about inequities in the education system 
Julia Twitchell is meeting with students to talk about environmental issues impacting Rhode Island

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