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We like to share when the Cottonwood School of Civics and Science is in the news.
The Cottonwood School in southwest Portland emphasizes place-based learning, but when Sarah Anderson started teaching civil rights to her middle school students, she discovered that materials about Oregon’s civil rights history were scarce. She set out to remedy that. A curriculum called “Civil Rights and Civil Wrongs: The Black History of Portland, Oregon” is the result of her efforts, and Anderson is sharing it in a teacher workshop for the second time this summer. She hopes to empower educators from across the city to use it in their classrooms. We hear from her as well as Darrell Millner, professor emeritus of African American Studies at Portland State University, who helped develop the curriculum.
Sam McAlevy, Samantha Matsumoto, and Sage Van Wing are producers for OPB’s daily talk show, “Think Out Loud” on OPB (Oregon Public Broadcasting).
A workshop to prepare educators to teach Portland Black history is now accepting applications.
Now in its second year, “Civil Rights and Civil Wrongs: Teaching Portland’s Black History Through Primary Sources, an Educator’s Workshop” is the result of years of collaboration between teachers at Cottonwood School of Civics and Science, local Black history experts and equity consultants. Cottonwood is a charter elementary school in southwest Portland.
Saundra Sorenson is a journalist and editor based in Portland, OR. A veteran of newsrooms and alt weekly dens, Saundra has always been drawn to the possibilities of storytelling in a creative format. She had the unique pleasure of combining her journalism background and her lifelong love of comedy in her role as an editor at Cracked.com’s Personal Experience team, where for two years she was part of a pioneering movement in narrative and reporting.
This winter, the 7th and 8th grade students at the Cottonwood School of Civics and Science explored the question: “What can we learn about the world by looking at our food?” These explorations allowed students to learn about globalization through all of the disciplines mentioned above, leaning heavily upon personal and local connections. Emily Conner, the 7th/8th grade humanities teacher (and creator of most of the activities below), pulled in guest speakers, books, and other resources to create an interdisciplinary unit that additionally incorporated language arts, technology, visual art, and career skills. Below are elements of the unit, any of which can be led in a classroom as a stand-alone activity.
Sarah K. Anderson spent most of her childhood exploring rivers and forests near her rural Vermont home- experiences which provided inspiration for a passion for nature and all things wild. After graduating with a degree in American Studies from Bard College in New York, Sarah served as an AmeriCorps volunteer for Metro Parks and Greenspaces in Portland, OR. Since then, she has worked as a crew leader at an educational farm in Vermont, a Teacher Naturalist in the California Redwoods and a Middle School Humanities teacher at The Key School in Annapolis, Maryland and 7/8th grade at The Cottonwood School of Civics and Science. Sarah received a Masters of Education from Antioch New England Graduate School, where she specialized in integrated and place-based education.
Sarah has written a book about Place-Based Learning and The Cottonwood School of Civics and Science, titled “Bringing School to Life: Place-based Education Across the Curriculum.” Learn more about the book here .
Our Radiozine guests today are a group of 7th and 8th grade students from Portland’s Cottonwood School of Civics and Science, and their Humanities teacher, Emily Conner. The students recently completed podcasts on the topic Globalization and Food, and entered them in the NPR Student Podcast Challenge. The winners will be announced later this month.
We’re fortunate to have Emily and three of the podcast groups here to tell us more about the project and their work. And we’ll be playing those podcasts for you — Con Leche, Candy Calamity, and Consider the Vegan. The future of radio is in very good hands!
Ken Jones writes and produces radio comedy, in addition to doing author interviews and co-anchoring the Monday PM news on KBOO.
SOLVE, an Oregon nonprofit dedicated to environmental stewardship, has named Cottonwood School of Civics and Science its Youth Group of the Year for 2019. The whole school, kindergarten through eighth grade as well as staff, do an annual Willamette River cleanup in the South Waterfront neighborhood as part of its Earth Day celebrations.
Find the article on Page 11.
Laura Stanfill is a novelist, an award-winning journalist, and the publisher of Forest Avenue Press. She earned a full scholarship to the 2018 Yale Publishing Course from the Independent Book Publishers Association and Publishers Weekly designated her as a 2017 Star Watch honoree. She founded the Main Street Writers Movement in 2017 to encourage writers to build community at the local level. Laura Stanfill is also a board member of The Cottonwood School of Civics and Science.