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LT I Upper Valley, Arts & Nonprofits Session Day, Dec 11, 2008

Leadership Teacher Seminar Summary from 12/11/08:
The Power of Arts Education and Nonprofit Collaboration at the Center for School Success

The morning began with an introduction from Leslie Williamson, who is the executive director of the Center for School Success. She explained that the Center for School Success is a place to help students who have trouble learning. The Center provides learning assessment services and test what individual student’s learning intelligences. The center collaborates with the family, student, and center personnel. The Center for School Success is also a place where professional development seminars can be held for teachers and education professionals, and there are outreach programs at the Center.

• Morning Conversation: How Schools Can Collaborate with Nonprofits
◊ A number of professionals from local nonprofit organizations spoke with us about what they do in the community and the opportunities that their programs offer our students. They were also very receptive to our questions and suggestions for how we can better our relationship and help our students who may have interests in their programs.
◊ There was discussion about how the Upper Valley is a region of “immigrants” which helps to make the area more attractive to people looking for good, professional, educational, and scenic places to live.
◊ We discussed how college admittance boards are looking at potential students differently from the past; how they are learning, what practical “hands on” experiences they bring to a college, and the fact that more VOTECH students are going to college currently than at any other time.
◊ Dartmouth College typically has a job shadowing day for 8th graders, but there was discussion about possibly having a job shadowing day for 10th graders.
◊ We learned that the Upper Valley United Way has 26 nonprofits that they are connected with. We, educators, can go to the UVUW web site and see what organizations are associated and what volunteer programs are available for our students to possibly work with.
◊ We learned that students can get a temporary library card and borrowing privileges at the Dartmouth (Baker) Library.
◊ When talking about the job shadowing and the need for juniors and seniors to see what job opportunities are available to them in the Upper Valley, Jen Thygesen talked about the TIPS Program and the opportunities it provides students.
◊ We all agreed that there needs to be a volunteer center/networking center for nonprofits and teachers to have for students who need placements and businesses that need volunteers/workers: Community Based Learning.
◊ Employers want to know “what have you done/what is your experience,” not necessarily what is a person’s degree.

Article Sharing: Bonnie discussed an article that she found concentrating on how what happens on Wall Street could eventually arrive at Main Street, USA and how Lebanon, NH is a “safer” place to live during times economic difficulties. Jeff shared a book that he liked called Squirrel, Inc., by Stephen Denning; a fictional book on how to reframe leadership.

Teachers’ Toolbox: Toni showed us how a soccer ball can be a useful reviewing tool and Stacey showed us how she can help her students review their math skills.

• Hands on Activity: Incorporating Theatre into your Classroom:
◊ Monique Peaslee, who works at Hopkins Ctr., taught us how to incorporate “theatre” into our classrooms in a variety of ways; most of which were out of our comfort zones, but fun. She eased us into the exercises and got us to enjoy ourselves.

• Afternoon Conversation: Integrating the Arts Into Your Classroom
◊ A number of professionals from local theatre, music, art outreach programs, and Margaritas Restaurant visited with us about the programs that they run and what is available to students in the Upper Valley to participate in. There are a wide range of activities for children and adolescents (adults too) to participate in based on their interests in the arts.

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