SMART members have been preparing for Language Access Month in April by writing and publicly practicing their personal testimonies. Our lead student organizers have been busy planning workshops that will provide our members with concrete tools to boost their public speaking skills. They have also been brushing up on their political education by watching "A CommUnity Concern", a film inspired by education organizers at the annual Communities Public Education Reform conference.
Our Coolidge SMART members are getting ready to meet with their principal and propose the establishment of an "ELL Support Group". Once SMART finds a school to pilot the ESG it will propose to Chancellor Kaya Henderson that ESG be established in all high schools with a high percentage of ELL students. What exactly is an ELL Support Group?
Our Roosevelt SMART members have teamed up with Critical Exposure, Rough Riders, and Roosevelt Ambassadors to create the first Youth Caucus at Roosevelt Senior High School. At the Caucus students determined the biggest issues their peers faced at the school. Modernization and school lunches were the biggest issues on students minds. At our next meeting we will be discussing all these issues more in depth and determining one issue students will organize around.
Community Media Interns
Our community media interns have been taking some HOTT pictures lately (slideshow will be coming soon). Our members have been working with Critical Exposure to learn the art of photography and will soon be applying those skills to SMARTs organizing work. CMIs are already interviewing and photographing community members about their experiences accessing interpretation services at government agencies! This coming month they will be working on taking pictures representative of issues listed in our SMART demands.
Upcoming Events and Partnerships
- Stay tuned for the release of our "SMART Education for DCPS's ELL Students", an indepth view at the demands SMART members have been working on and action steps on how to make schools more equitable on both a school and district level.
- SMART/MLOV have been invited to participate in Roosevelt's Adelante! initiative. Adelante! is an ELL advocacy group made up of Roosevelt staff and community representative. It meets weekly to discuss issues faced by students, parents, and staff at Roosevelt and it also helps organize events that make the school a more welcoming environment for ELL students.
- Dont forget to attend MLOV's Many Moves One Movement! All the proceeds will go directly into providing financial support to SMART. Our very own Rahwa Mebrahtom, Melat Tsehaye, and Lidya Abune will be performing an Ethiopian coffee ceremony!