Seattle area educators have partnered with Colorful Pages, Black Education Matters, Families of Color Seattle (FOCS) to launch a citywide “Student Coronavirus Creative Response Project” to have students reflect on and take action to support those most affected by the pandemic. This project has different versions designed for both Elementary School and Middle School and High School. Students will submit their projects to the website to be displayed publicly and send their projects to the politicians who need to hear the message about how this virus is impacting the most vulnerable communities.
Beginning on Monday, March 30th, educators around the city and state are being asked to begin finding ways to resume lessons remotely to the extent possible, and the creators of this project hope that this will provide students with deeply meaningful work–even as we realize that many students face very challenging times right now that may prohibit their ability to engage in this projects or other academic pursuits. Additionally, many students– even in a city like Seattle with so many tech companies–do not have regular access to the internet. Nonetheless, we hope that the project can help contribute to a better understanding of inequities and how they are compounded by coronavirus.
Local social justice activist Indira Bahner said of the project,
I am so grateful to the community that is collaborating to launch this project to amplify the voices of young people about what they believe should be done to address the coronavirus crisis.
This project will ask Seattle youth to analyze how coronavirus (COVID-19) impacts the most vulnerable people and explain what should be done in our society to best support those people. Students are encouraged to send their creative response area politicians who have the authority to improve the conditions for the most vulnerable people. In addition, the projects will be uploaded to the Student Coronavirus Creative Response Project website.
The project asks students to pick one of seven prompts and respond creatively. Here, then, are the four steps to complete the project.
1) Pick one of the 6 creative response prompts:
Prompt #1: Women, Women of Color, and Helping Professions
Prompt #2: Income and Debt
Prompt #3: Medical Coverage
Prompt #4: Mental Health, Addiction, & Developmental Disability
Prompt #5: Jail/Prison Populations and COVID-19
Prompt #6: Combating anti-Chinese and anti-Asian racism
Prompt #7: The Impact of COVID-19 on Undocumented & Immigrant Communities
2) Research your issue.
We have included some information for each prompt but you can do more research on your own.
3) Deiced what kind of creative response you will create and get to work.
Do you want to write a letter, create a video, make a drawing, create a PowerPoint, create a board game, or something else?
4) Submit your project
We encourage you to submit your projects to local, county, and state legislators and copy firstname.lastname@example.org on your communication so we can add your project to library and inspire others.
The four core educators who collaborated to produce this project are:
Indira Bahner–Chief Program Associate for the YWCA, social justice activist.
Jesse Hagopian—High School ELA/Ethnic Studies teacher, author, editor for Rethinking Schools magazine.
Kaitlin Kamalei Brandon—Ethnic Studies Elementary School Teacher, Director of Colorful Pages.
Wayne Au—Education Professor, author, editor for Rethinking Schools magazine.
Jesse Hagopian said of the project,
Many educators and parents are looking for a ways to engage young people in a meaningful dialogue about the coronavirus crisis. This project gives students the opportunity to share their valuable insights about COVID-19—and helps them make a difference in outcomes for the most venerable people in our region.