Friday, December 09, 2016

12:34 December 9

Tobin and his friend Margaret, who is a Duke freshman. Together, they worked on a month's-long project, meeting at least once a week. It's a wonderful program organized by T's teacher and Margaret's professors.

Back in September, Tobin was paired up with Margaret, a Duke freshman, as part of a months-long service-learning project--a collaboration developed by Tobin's teacher and Margaret's professors. The student pairs met weekly to work on a project of their choosing. Margaret and Tobin, both avid readers, decided to consider what makes a great book.

Tobin & Margaret (not pictured) presented their Great Books project last night to all Tobin's classmates & their families.

Tonight, Tobin, Margaret, and all the other college-elementary student pairs presented their projects to Tobin's classmates and their families. We started with a potluck dinner, featuring everything from homemade tamales to roast lamb. Then we all wandered the halls of the third floor of T's school to view the project presentations. The projects covered, among other things: cooking, geodes, rockets, Anime, and warrior history.

t and margaret at the duke buddies' celebration.

At the end of the evening, we all gathered in a classroom to view two stop-motion films created by student pairs. (Bonus: you can view Tobin's best friend Oskar's film produced with his friend Allie here.) Then the students exchanged gifts and hugs, and Tobin's teacher Mr. Rogers (seen above) facilitated the students sharing what they were grateful for. Tobin said, "I'm grateful for almost everything, but especially Margaret."

I'm thankful Tobin has opportunities like these in his public school. We are immeasurably grateful for Tobin's classroom teacher, who in this project and many others--including production of a Shakespeare play in the spring--builds community among his students. Matt observed that this project is a testament to the power of relationships in education. I'm grateful for the beautiful diversity in culture and interest on display in our potluck dinner and the project presentations. And I'm also thankful for Margaret, who put my somewhat shy kid at ease and helped him confidently explore his love of reading.

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