WTS Newsletter: February 2017

Recent Saturday Work Session:

All WtS teams met on February 11th at Champlain Valley Union HS as we work together to pivot from researching and filming on topics of social concern and turn towards story-boarding video documentaries. Learners began the day creating vision statements to clearly target (1.) the specific audience each team is approaching, (2.) the issue of social concern, and (3.) what change is being sought. Visit slides 16-24 in this presentation to see the vision statements social action teams created at the beginning of this work session. Additionally, teams explored a menu of options for other multimodal products to construct meaning for both themselves and their intended audience; see some of what learners from last year created here.

Where We’re Going:

On March 11-12th, WtS will host its third of four overnight retreats in Starksboro. The primary focus is diving deep into meaning-making multimedia creation, including a video documentary, supporting website, and other multimodal products. Our eyes are on mid-April to make our final pivot of the year to leverage these multimodal products to create change by “going public” with our work in ways tailored to each individual social action team, issue, and audience. Here are important dates each learner and family should have in their calendars for our remaining in-person work this year:

  • March 11th-12th: Overnight #3 @ Common Ground Center – Starksboro, VT
  • April 8th: Saturday Work Session – 10am-2pm – Champlain Valley UHS – Hinesburg, VT
  • May 6th-7th: Overnight #4 @ Common Ground Center – Starksboro, VT
  • June 29th: Dinner, Presentation, & Celebration – 5pm-8:30pm – Bread Loaf campus: Ripton, VT


Applications for 2017-2018 WtS Cohort are Open:

In September 2017, WtS will launch its fourth year in Vermont and second in Kentucky. A revamped application is now available for learners in Vermont who will be in 7th-12th grade; those applications can be found here. Current learners are encouraged to return, too, and are an invaluable resource to all of us. They can do so in a number of capacities: (1.) to dig deeper on the issue they previously explored, (2.) to explore and advocate for social awareness on a new issue, or (3.) to return as a mentor to learners new to the program. We are currently exploring possibilities with Castleton University to offer university credit for the work next year, which we are very excited about. Over the last two years, all high school learners have earned a humanities credit for their WtS work through their schools.


WtS Learners – Leading and in the News:

Eva Rocheleau and Fiona Nelson traveled to The Sharon Academy to present their research and lead a workshop on gender identity for Chain Reaction Day, particularly on how gender identity is manifested in school settings, practices, and policies.

Nathan DeGroot was filming a Montpelier School Board meeting for his social action team’s research when he was asked to speak to the board in public session about the topic of gender in schools and about being a non-binary student in Vermont. The local newspaper featured his voice and participation, which can be seen here.

Greta Hardy-Mittell was recognized for her poetry this fall by VPR, inspired to make sense of our post-election world. She delivered that same powerful poem on the steps of the Vermont State Capitol the day after the presidential inauguration. While the content of this work is not connected to her research in WtS, it is certainly connected soulfully.


Upcoming Opportunities for our Learners:

If any learner is interested to present at any of these opportunities, they should contact their group’s mentor and Tim O’Leary.

Tim O'Leary

2 Responses to “WTS Newsletter: February 2017

  • Beverly Moss
    6 years ago

    This is wonderful, inspiring work.

  • dixie goswami
    6 years ago

    The WtS newsletter is full of energy, action – and opportunities. Seeing the Vermont and Louisville Social Action teams in the same space is exciting – and important.
    The list of opportunities and call for participation sends a message about WTS (Louisville and Vermont) opportunities for going public.



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