Saturday, December 9, 2023

South Middle School Students Discuss Issues at Vassar Youth Conference

Last Wednesday, Newburgh Enlarged City School District students from all grades presented on a wide range of topics at the Vassar College Transformative Classroom Learning Youth Conference. South Middle School students created discussions based on controversial topics.

Through their work, the South Middle School students were able to advocate and speak life into real issues they face in their personal lives and in their community. The students displayed maturity in their transparency as they shared details of the issues they face in their personal lives.

Eighth grade students from Mr. Sokolinski’s ELA classroom discussed community-based creative writing assignments in a gallery walk presentation.  These students displayed creative writing, 845 Poetry, that discussed challenges and conflicts that their communities face and how they would like to make change for the better.  Students described their poetry and other community-based writing projects to their audiences while elaborating on the problems and discussing how these topics affect their lives in Newburgh.  

Mrs. Cruz’s students presented in a gallery walk format. Prior to the conference, her students learned about various change makers who had an impact in their communities and beyond throughout United States history. Cruz challenged her students with the task to analyze and select issues in their community they would advocate for if their voice were to be heard by others. The children began to think about what issues were personal for them. They then created a poster displaying their selected cause(s) along with talking points for people viewing their work.

The South Middle School students who presented at Vassar College spoke on societal, community and personal issues. They explained why certain phrases and images were included in their posters.  It was an opportunity for their voices to be heard.

Through their work, many of the students learned that they have the power to impact change and bring awareness to the issues youth encounter frequently within their community.

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