As you know, Kathleen Parker, USDA Agricultural Research Service in Pullman linked our middle school writing class up with Pen Pals (Letter Buddies) in Dr. Jeffery Chaichana Peterson's Intercultural Communication classes through Vernette Doty and the Center for Civic Engagement. We definitely met one of the goals: culturally diverse civic engagement and leadership experiences. The Washington State University Pen Pals organized the event and arrived ready to bond with the pen pals who anxiously waited for this day to come.
All week the students have been saying things like, "Only two more days!" "I get to go, right?" "Am I all caught up cuz the field trip is this week" "When do we leave?" "I'm getting shy again, but I want to go," and "Can we bring our cameras?"
The day arrived, and here are images to tell the story of sharing lives:
What did the students think in our first reflections the next day?
Pepernos wrote "When we first got to WSU we got our nametags and we walked into the auditorium. It was so awesome cause all of our pen pals raised up a piece of paper and it said one or two of our names on it. We all chatted for a little while." and "When I meet someone new, talk more so they will want to hang out again!"
Naner wrote "When I first walked into the auditorium, I was nervous...I admit but then I wasn't because I seen a girl with poofy black hair. And she was holding a sign with my letter and a paper that spelt my name in bold letters. When Ms. Edwards told us to find our "letter bud'ys" I knew where to go:D When I sat down by her I quickly made her laugh ;) "
Dragan said, "I actually liked the speaker. I learned an awesome quote. 'Learn to listen, Listen to learn.' I also learned that there is 1 native in the NW thats gonna be a dentist." and "When we played games I got to learn how to communicate with my group and not be shy. I appreciated that those games made me open up and talk."
Roger wrote "I appreciated hearing the story about Coyote and the Monster, because last time I heard it was 4 or 5 years ago. And how the lady said to never give up, and go to college and be successful in a career that you choose." and "I learned that Tori (my mentor) was VERY outgoing and she was always looking for something to talk about, like what we're gonna do for the summer, or what we like to do the most."
Alper wrote "What I appreciated
- That they woke up so early to catch the bus.
- The story Robby told us.
- The Pizza for everyone."
Lamjo said, "I appreciated the Native American speaker. I enjoyed the story that she told us. I think I heard it once befor from my grandma. I learned to sit and listen to the speaker with out talking. I also learned to never give up on your dream."
Rojo wrote that "I appreciated listening to that woman's story about coyote and I learned without friends your just going to be loneley." Later he said, "I really appreceated that all them people would try our traditional round dance and play a fast game of group tag."
Sekin said "I appreciated that scavenger hunts are easy with friends. I learned it's good to work together."
Jamon said, "I appreciate WSU getting all the pizza's. I learned that they bought 33 pizza's. Games I appreciate that they were very kind about going over things as many times as it took. I learned to be very patient.
Grades six students wrote these on the day of the field trip:
Rista wrote "I learned that there is no such word as I can't in our language." and "I learned that going to college is important and will influence the rest of my life."
Loudy wrote "I learned that you could get to know more about people when you hang out with them." and "I learned that coming to college is pretty fun once you meet students that go there"
We'll debrief more next week and hope you check back to see our thoughts.
What do you think? Should we do more of these activities?
And now, thanks everyone for this successful trip:
The students in grades 5-8 participated in an exciting field trip yesterday. We did enjoy a wonderful learning experience.
That happened because of all the wonderful staff at our school:
Nurse Betsy provided the first aid kit, supplies, and information for all the safety and health needs.
Dean Erickson forfeited a track meet to allow his track members to attend. In addition, he remained at school with those students who were unable to attend.
Terrie Sanger and Debbie Joseph jumped right in and wandered with a group in addition to their usual activities.
Terrie arranged for special considerations as needed through our WSU coordinator Vernette Doty.
Jama Van Brunt and Kayla Wells also followed groups of students through their science, craft, game, and scavenger activities.
Kayla took pictures for us too.
Joyce Fleischman is a WOWSER bus driver, making sure we arrived on time and is so kind to all the kids on the bus. Thanks to Jerry Novotney for arranging the bus and driver.
Dee and Vel sent along snacks for the long day, which saved us from hungry kids. We had a morning and afternoon snack. The kids really appreciated that.
It was a great day thanks to these people who made sure everything flowed well on our end.
More thanks to come for the WSU side, when I learn all their names.
Please also thank our students, whose smiles and active participation throughout the day added a special learning experience for their Pen Pals at WSU.
Thank you all for the great day!
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