“Life is like a Lily pond, what kind of ripples are you making?” Every Politician I have ever heard always talks about Resources, Sustainability, Creativity… well … there are words and there are actions. Positively On Going No Drop Outs. POND. This was started by a group of people who became a second family to the people in it. It was founded by people who were thrown into a situation that most people think only happen in movies. The movie “Leon on Me” comes to mind and for many the song became “our theme song”. Imagine walking into a building that does not even have the name on it, or the address, there are no plates on the light switches, chairs? What chairs? The Students are required to compete with every other school in the state, not only compete, but recover the credits they are behind on to graduate on time. There is a catch unlike the other schools the library does not have shelves stocked with books, there are not computers in every classroom for the students to do research on and the students have to move through a complete semester worth of material in Forty Short Days in the seat.
Oh by the way 80% fall below the poverty line and qualify for free or reduced lunch so the two meals a day they receive at school are often what they eat the entire day, so before anyone says “ask the parents to dig in their pockets to help keep the lights on, the parents have plenty to worry about at home. They want and trust the school to take care of their children while they are in those walls as if those children are the most sacred gifts ever to bestow this earth.
Imagine walking into a building where tile is still being laid down, paint is still being put on the walls, and come hell or high water those kids need to receive an education. A few people shook hands and made deals with one another that things were going to get taken care of.
Canyon Springs sadly opened its doors to its students with nothing and when I say nothing I really mean nothing. Canyon Springs still has a LONG way to go. With fund raising, community support, recycled materials, creative shopping, and determined students and members of the POND program. Canyon Springs has been one of the major benefactors of the POND members labors of love to help the Caldwell Community.
My Students: What is life like for a student in Idaho? How does that compare with young people of China, Namibia, Lebanon or Guatemala? My students have very limited exposure to any culture that is not in their own neighborhood or on TV.
Our students attend an alternative high school in a renovated Depression Era elementary school. Well over half are Hispanic, and virtually all are considered “at-risk.” For too many, that “at-risk” means that they have seldom, if ever, had the opportunity to experience the wonderful “otherness” of different cultures except as it is portrayed in popular entertainment. A few of our students have never left the immediate area where they live, while others have experienced a trip to Texas or Mexico, but never to a state park or historical site.
My Project: This request is for a projector to be used in a social studies classroom, specifically, for a World Cultures class, but also for Economics and U.S. Government. We have limited resources, especially when it comes to technology for classroom instruction and interaction. This projector offers a window on the incredible array of resources to help our students recognize the many similarities with “other people” as well as understand some of the reasons for the differences that seem to be emphasized and exploited. While this is not a trip to another locale, it can offer a glimpse of what life is like in other places. Many of our students have families who have immigrated, yet have almost no concept of life as it is lived where their families came from. With the power of the Internet and technology, we are working on a reciprocal arrangement with schools in other nations for video conferencing, a chance to visit with new friends.
This request is for a magic window for our students. A projector to share the beauty, squalor, majesty and variety of life as people of all kinds live it. Many students assume the world is just like us. This is the chance to, if only in a small way, experience life that is not lived just like us. Maybe, if they have this kind of opportunity, it will enhance our students’ ability to define, or refine, their own priorities and life goals, especially as it relates to all those “others” in the world. Thank you for your support!