Exploring The World They Live In
As a first-year partnership at Mundelein High School, Scholars and Scholar Coaches have the opportunity to develop programs that establish traditions and a culture of learning that will be carried throughout the years. As Scholar Coaches, we are passionate about cultivating a safe environment where Scholars feel confident and comfortable voicing their opinions and exploring the world they live in. Bi-weekly after school discussions was one of the programs that we developed to provide Scholars a space to ask questions, share their experiences, read news articles, and have intellectual conversations.
Our first discussion of the school year was “Pizza & Politics,” where Scholars snacked on pizza and discussed the 2016 election. Discussions are based around Scholar interests and we have explored race relations in the United States, the Black Lives Matter Movement, and immigration. Looking ahead, we plan on discussing Feminism, LGBTQ rights, economic reform, the incarceration crisis/prison reform and climate change among others. Not only do the discussions provide a space for Scholars to share their voice, Scholars also develop critical thinking skills and discussion strategies that prepare them for success in advanced high school and college courses, as well as in their own communities. Below are some reflections from Scholars.
“The after school discussions are important to me because they allow me to speak about issues in our society that are important to me. They provide a safe place where I can talk about my opinions and where I can hear other people’s opinions, too. I also feel that it is necessary to talk about how we feel about these issues to help us handle them.” – Nickie Figueroa
“After school discussions are very important to me because I am able to express my opinions on different topics that I am passionate about. I can say what I want in comfortable way. The videos and articles that are presented are always fascinating and informative. But the best thing about discussions is that they allow us to gain more knowledge about specific topics.” –Wendy Perez
“After school discussions are important to me because they offer me opportunities to express my ideas and opinions. They also offer me the chance to learn more about a new topic and enjoy of a great time sharing what I think with other people.” – Yahaira Garcia
“Listening to how others view the same situation has helped me to be more accepting of their ideas.” – Mextli Garcia