Listening and learning

So much excites us about this summer’s gathering and launching of NGLN that it’s hard to know where to begin. Having just wrapped up year three of What’s the Story? The Vermont Young People Social Action Team (WtS), we’re eager to listen and learn from the stories of our colleagues and their learners who live outside of Vermont. What’s it like where you live? What are the social issues that most compel you to action? What lessons have you learned along the way about how to advocate for the issues that matter most to you? How might NGLN help us amplify our separate-yet-connected efforts next year?

And we can’t wait to have some of our students get a chance to meet and get to know peers from around the country, who share their commitment to making the world a better place. Our students come from different towns and, while a little intimidating at first, it helps bring out everyone’s best. It doesn’t take long, though, for these cross-town and mixed-aged students (middle and high school) to become fast and long-lasting friends. Now our students will have a chance to expand their current network to an even wider and more diverse community of peers and educators working together to lean into local social action.

Here are some of the issues our learners have researched and leaned into this year: Animal Cruelty (The Connection between Veal and Dairy Industries), ELL Education, Migrant Workers, Breaking Binary, Smashing Sexism, Water Pollution / Lake Champlain, and Education Reform.

If you want to dig deeper into what our learners do and say in WtS, check out our website, YouTube channel, Facebook page or Twitter Account.

Year in and year out, there are two things that our students most appreciate about WtS. First and foremost, they love the autonomy they have to determine what, when, how, where, and with whom they will learn. Second, they appreciate that their learning and the products they create are for a real purpose and audience.  

We’re eager to meet everyone in July kickoff NGLN because we believe we are wisest when we work together with others toward a common purpose. We’re already blown away by what we know about what all of you are doing in your communities, and we can only imagine what can happen when we begin sharing our stories, getting to know each other, and sharing our struggles and successes this upcoming year.

~ Bill Rich & Tim O’Leary

Tim O'Leary
Co-Director of What's the Story? The Vermont Young People Social Action Team ( Digital Learning Leader @ Shelburne Community School (VT)

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