Thursday, March 29, 2007

March 29: First Day of a memorable s-l conference

What did I observed?
People with dissabilities handling the registration table, elderly running the information booths, youth and adults running the conference, corporate people backing the effort financially.

What did I do? How did I feel?
At Breakfast Time: I talked to the students from Liberia whose project personafies "Be the change you what to see." They told me that they would contact my YAC. I gave the YAC address: I hope my students will become interested in listening to their story. I requested their PP. We will see.
I also met the author of Service without Guns. It is a book I must order. Lulu Press.

The plenary was arts empowered advocacy for respect for diversity service-learning project. It started with the National Anthem sang by a Hispanic. Then came the prayer by an Oklahoma native American who moved our hearts and challenged our minds with the power of the spirit. A state of Service-Learning, State Farm funding and a request to stop our government from destroying Learn and Serve followed. The highlights were: inclusion of youth at the forefront, inclusion of international youth council, inclusion of Latin America as a strong force in service-learning. Reach your congressman with 1,000 e-mails to stop destruction of Learn and Serve. The whole conference is now on Second Chance (virtual reality.) State Farm created a youth board and empowered them with 5 million dollars. They are looking for associate youth board members. I hope some of my YAC members will apply.

An AfroAmerican girl (I think from Oklahoma)did a poem that sounded like a melody to my soul. When I was about to say, this cannot get any better, a dance was performed by youth, elderly, mentally and physically handicapped people. I was so powerful, tears of happiness and hope "derramaron de mis ojos."

Then, Jane Goodall greeted us with the sound of the chimpanzees. You had to be there to capture the power of her presentation. It cannot be described with words. We are very lucky because she will be in Oklahoma City, and I have a card with her secretary phone number to try to get tickets when I go back because she thought it might be sold out already. I hope our environmental club will consider participating in her Roots and Shoots education program. I bought two of her mascots, a book, and a magnet with values.

Advice from Ms. Goodall: If you really want something and you never give up, you will find the way. We have not been wise stewards of this planet. What will it take to melt the ice in the human heart. She quoted a person from Alaska saying: Up in the north we know what is happening in the south, up in the north we now the ice is melting. We are compromising the future of our unborn generations. We must stop the disconet between the brain and the human spirit. We must have the wisdom to know how will this affect us not in 3 months ahead, but in 7 generations ahead. Act locally and then dear to think globally. Global service-learning is planting the seed of global peace. HOPE: There is real talk of going green, resillience of nature and the indomitable human spirit: Stop the look of no hope. The story of Mr. H and....

First session: We will give you the stones: You make the ripple: Mary Rogers Presentation validated "all service-learning" practitioners efforts. Her pyramid, inclusive circules, and exercise on expanding "our current service learning" projects were great. Her researcher quantified and qualified results. Her students gave us examples of clubs and non-profit organizations as the infrastructure to empower service-learning projects. I will bring her and her team to do professional development for club sponsors next year. It was amazing. I will ask her to send me her powerpoint. As a result of a small reflective exercise they had, I have the following ideas for the environmental club. Use money to buy the light environmentally friendly light bulbs. Distribute them to teachers with statistics of energy conservation. Do the same via push page to the rest of the Casady Community while supplies lasts.

Partner lower division grades with upper division grades. Give the lower division kids disposable cameras and funding to create do not disturbe our earth signs, much like the do not disturb signs in hotels. The have the first graders be as Ms. Goodall said

I spent a long time waiting in line to have Ms. Goodall sign the book, but it was worth it. I must remember to go on line to get the picture I took with Ms. Goodall. As a second session I attended a few minutes of Leveraging the Internet for Meaningful Service-Learning and Successful Global Collaboration: Great resource for Ankita. For Funding: Build African, apple100laptops project.
My final workshop for the day was on blogging. Then came the Pueblo Experience at Night. I must go to sleep to do justice to the experience. I am too tired now.

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