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A Voice in the Wilderness

As nightfall does not come at once, neither does oppression. In both instances, there's a twilight where everything remains seemingly unchanged, and it is in such twilight that we must be aware of change in the air, however slight, lest we become unwitting victims of the darkness. -- William O. Douglas

Friday, July 01, 2011

ACE Leadership High School - The Horno Project

I put together this digital montage for my students at ACE Leadership Charter High School.  It details the story of our Evening Re-engagement Program's Horno Project.  The word "Horno" is a Spanish word used to describe earth or clay ovens - once common throughout the Southwest among Native Americans and Spaniards for baking bread.  Our project was part of a theme which covered green-friendly building practices that we studied throughout the Trimester and, part of an overall topic built upon throughout the year.

We used the Trimester-long project of building clay ovens as the vehicle to meet our Learning Objectives in Humanities, Math and Science. Serving as demonstrations of their understanding, student team-projects were to culminate in exhibitions at the Trimester's end.  How we accomplished this was through a teaching regimen offered via the Buck Institute (BIE) called, Project Based Learning (thanks Tim Kubic).

Unfortunately, thoughtless acts perpetrated by vandals who jumped over the fence one night and destroyed the ovens nearly torpedoed the exhibitions.

Undaunted, the students decided to re-build their Hornos again, from scratch. Thus, destruction gave way to another learning opportunity for each student because they got to re-design and build even better clay ovens the second time around.

This video is a testimony to their spirit and resilience.

The quote about children, families, communities and the world is something my daughter, Kristin gave me when I  told her I was going to be hired as a Math-Science teacher despite my never having taught before.

While none of the words I have incorporated into this video are part of ACE's mission statement, I believe they accurately reflect the mentality of our school regarding what we are doing and how we can be of service to Humanity. 

I hope the music is not too melodramatic but it really does reflect how I feel about these students.  I admire their decision to return to school, their commitment to get their High School diploma and their resolve in moving forward despite obvious intentions to derail their success by the fool who thought that by merely destroying their work he would break their will to  learn.

"We Remember Them" was written by Elza Gilkyson for the Hurricane Katrina flood victims and this particular arrangement was written by Craig Hella Johnson director of the nationally acclaimed, Austin based choral group, Conspirare.  The second song, "Chevaliers de Sangreal" was written by Hans Zimmer for, The DaVinci Code is classic Zimmer.

I hope you liked it.



At Sun Jul 03, 08:24:00 AM MDT, Blogger Cara said...

I was finally able to open this video - love it! Very moving. Do you have an email link on your blog that I'm over looking? I'd like to contact you about the program you work with - Cara


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