Tuesday, June 11, 2013

The Summer Sandbox

RealSchool is an education reform program that has students engage in self-directed, collaborative, whole-person learning. This summer, RealSchool is giving all stakeholders in Jewish day schools the opportunity to experience RealSchool’s model. Whether you’re an educator, student, administrator, board member or parent, you’re invited to the RealSchool Summer Sandbox, where you can join a team of like-minded individuals and have the time and resources to “play and tinker,” that is, come up with a tangible project or event in your area of interest and return to your school ready to implement your new vision.

We’ve suggested team ideas in areas we know stakeholders are passionate about: student-driven and project-based learning; sustainability; digital literacy and citizenship; community-based learning; meaning-making in Jewish day schools; and school culture and leadership. We’d love for participants to create their own teams based on their interests as well. So get ready to roll up your sleeves and get to work on creating the school and classroom of the future! 

To learn more about RealSchool, watch our student-made video:

For more information about and to register for the Sandbox, visit this site: http://summersandbox.eventbrite.com. See you there!

More Thoughts on Fair Trade and the Fashion Show

From senior David Idler:

A few weeks ago, a few of my classmates and I decided to help prepare for the Fair Trade Fashion Show. In the process, I learned a lot about fair trade and how crucial the bare bones of any project, like a fashion show, are. Although we spent most of our time driving around helping pick out decorations and fair trade products, the fashion show couldn’t have taken place without our help, and my classmates and I helped raise awareness about the importance of fair trade. After extensive research on different fair trade chocolate and coffee brands, which we were looking at to buy for the fashion show, I discovered how important the fair trade system was, as it offers better trading conditions to, and secures the rights of, marginalized producers and workers. We looked at brands such as Sunspire, Green Mountain, Nibmore, and Equal Exchange to distribute at the fashion show to help raise awareness to fair trade. We helped instill the fact that we must continue buying fair trade brands in order to try to discontinue sweatshops and other inhumane manufacturing methods. 

One of the fair trade chocolates we bought for the fashion show

Overall, I’m very happy I participated in assisting in the fair trade fashion show; I gained an understanding that even the most seemingly meaningless part of an operation could, in retrospect, be the most important part. Similarly, while some may think fair trade brands are simply ridiculous, slightly more expensive brands, the work I put in for the fashion show helped me realize that fair trade is certainly an ongoing problem throughout the world. Even the miniscule percent of people that learned about the importance of fair trade thanks to our work is a big step forward to terminating this worldwide dilemma.