Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Unboxing The Way We Do Things Each Summer @CWPFairfield

It's hard to believe there is only 4 more days left of CWP-Fairfield summer programming (well, and another two-day institute in August), but that's where we are this Tuesday. I spent last night talking with others hosting summer camps for youth and reflecting on what is working with our individual programs). When I got off the conference call, I realized that so much of the work cannot be measured.

When I came into my office on Monday morning, I saw the stacks of art pieces created from the writing youth did last week. As I was pondering it all, several more students brought me their art work because they wanted to take it home to work on it more and to finish it (including this piece by a 9th grader named Poppy who expressed, "Inside the box is a safe, comfortable place. Please let me stay here. Outside the box is rough around the edges, but it is beautiful" In both, the balloon is trying to fly away (that is here flying lesson).

It made me think about how 'out-of-the-box' ways of knowing has become a cultural norm for us. It's typical for refugee youth to interact with Native American youth and urban youth and suburban youth and teachers and professors and undergraduates and graduate students in a two-week program, no? It's typical for authors to SKYPE to the kids to discuss what they wrote and to encourage them to express themselves creatively and politically? Kids are used to buffet style lunches, snacks, and buckets full of writing supplies as every visitor wants to know what they're thinking and writing.

And art is infused. That's normal, right?

Actually, it's all beautiful and I wish there was a way I could capture the heart of it all in a post. Instead, I offer glimpses into the work of our summer. This piece by Poppy is what caught my eye for the day...of course, there's fireworks in my eyes and a lot is sparkling these days.

Time to make the donuts!

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