Work with The Country School
In 2015, I was hired by The Country School, a PreS-8 Independent Day School in Madison, CT, to recruit young folks to design, plan, and execute a TEDxYouth conference. Over the course of the 2015-16 school year, I met bi-weekly with young people grades 4-8 to plan a TEDxYouth conference; from searching through the community for a conference theme to recruiting TEDx speakers, I worked tirelessly with these young folks to create an accessible, meaningful arts event for young people and by young people. Simultaneously, I worked with school faculty and administrators to evaluate the diversity priorities of the school, and, as an alumna, pushed the school administration and faculty to think about diversity in the curriculum, recruitment strategy, faculty representation, and wheelchair-accessible buildings. As such, I created the TEDx conference as a critique and an embodiment of a more inclusive, accessible Country School experience.
Working tirelessly alongside students from grades 4-8, I surveyed the community for a Conference theme, reached out to activists, innovators, and artists to be TEDx speakers, designed every aspect of the conference from the marketing materials to the stage design. Together, students and I built excitement for the conference throughout the year through a series of workshops focused on justice, art, and love, made promotional videos, and spread the word throughout Connecticut by inviting other young folks from schools in the area to get involved.
In-Class Workshops; Diversity, Identity, and Art
Working tirelessly with students from every grade, I spent my time liaising with teachers to plan curriculum-specific workshops based on identity, belonging, diversity, and difference. Weekly, I would go into a classroom and run thee workshops as a supplement to the curriculum planned by the subject teacher. Some of the workshops included:
Working with school faculty and administrators, I transformed the after-school program offerings from a loosely organized study hall to a true enrichment program. Polling the students who attended after-school programs, and working with the after-school staff to define goals and talents, I developed a more robust offering of after-school programs for students grade PreS-7. Included in the new enrichment programs:
- Public art and mural painting for all ages
- "Free Play" in the music room, with respect for the instruments
- Outdoor enrichment; chaperoned hikes, walks, and runs through the school's trail system.