Imagine your community as a human library
From articles by CommunityShare
Several years ago, a group of collaborators looked around their community in Tucson, Arizona, and began wondering what it would look like if every community member saw themselves as an educator or mentor. Each of us has unique stories, skills, passions and experiences. When we share these gifts with each other, we develop a sense of belonging and identity as a community and define a vision for our shared future.
They asked themselves…What would happen if we could create pathways for people to share their passions and experiences with each other every day? What kind of learning and relationships might emerge by bringing people together across geographic, socioeconomic and institutional boundaries? If learning transcended the boundaries of schools, what would this make possible for students, educators and communities?
These questions were the seeds that grew CommunityShare.
They work online and offline to connect the skills and experiences of people in the community – everyday individuals with regular jobs and lives – to the needs and aspirations of educators and their students. Their goal is to support “real-world” learning opportunities that help young people discover their passions and transform those passions into future careers and fulfilled lives.
Students need real-world, purpose-driven learning opportunities now more than ever, with 40-60% of them chronically disengaged from school. Research shows that real-world learning and community connections can increase engagement and academic achievement.
Here are a couple of impact stories:
As a way to help students creatively engage in a writing process, Jen Nowicki Clark of Creative Narrations taught students the art of creating a storyboard for a digital story. She then helped students record their personal stories about the “American Dream” or about cultural responsibilities and expectations based on gender.
Through the process of writing, creating and editing their digital stories, some students had to step outside of their comfort zone. Ultimately it helped them to access parts of themselves that they didn’t usually have the opportunity to share in a school setting. As a way to extend the project, the teacher used projects created in one class to teach the same process to her other classes.
A teacher wanted her students to explore STEM related contexts through real-world, hands-on experience. Her 5th grade students took part in a program at an Air Force Base. Certified teachers facilitated hands-on STEM activities over the course of five visits.
Students stayed highly engaged throughout the experience as indicated by nearly perfect attendance on field trip days. Even the abilities of the most reluctant learners shone through as they participated and engaged at a very high level.
CommunityShare is one of the 100 selected innovations for the HundrED 2020 Global Collection.
What can you imagine in your community?
Retweet about this article: