Civics 101 for our Rise Students

Civics 101 for our Rise Students

Let gratitude be the pillow upon which you kneel to say your nightly prayer.”

― Maya Angelou

Rise students are seen and heard out in the community!

Even though our Rise Program has only been in swing since the start of October, we have already done three civic engagement activities within the Indy community, in addition to the lessons we are learning at the Center.

The first one I wanted to highlight was the IMPD Fall Festival in late October. The students’ interactions with all of the community members during that event was very positive. Whenever I went to each table, every table/group of people had already spoken with our students and mentioned how lovely they were! That really warmed my heart.

Earlier this month, we did the IPS 51 Community School Forum. The Forum was dedicated to hearing input from all of the attendees about how to educate the youth in the community. Of course, our goal at FHC is to focus on the youth input– and we made sure our Rise participants were there to give their thoughts!

The forum divided tables into 10 topic, including education, parent engagement, community engagement etc. We picked the table where the concept was addressing “the whole child.” The goal of this top was addressing the child as a whole when it comes to education and needs at home– really focusing on the emotional needs of the child. I’ve found throughout my tenure at FHC that we really don’t know what’s happening at home for many of these children and that can have a tremendous impact on their ability to pay attention and truly learn.

Our students shined at this topic! They came up with talking points and really delved into how the community can focus on the whole child. Many of them spoke from deeply personal experiences.

They discussed how the youth really become the stakeholders of each community and that they need to have a voice now.

They talked about what needs to happen. She was talking about all of these — why their voice is important.

People at that event came up to me asking if our Rise Students could come and join them at this and that event– I had to tell them, “No, no, we have one day per week! We have to finish some projects by the end of the year!”

Every Wednesday, our intern Hope, with help from Michael and Darlene, have been teaching the Junior Master Gardener course at the Edna Martin Community Center. These are elementary school children who we see as more members in the “pipeline” to the FHC family as they get older– maybe even future Rise participants!

We are on track to have 100 students in the program by the end of this school year. We currently have a waiting list that is growing every week.

In addition to the community civics events we are doing, the wonderful grant from the Lilly Endowment has allowed our students to engage in journaling activities with the Indiana Writers Center. They are teaching all of the FHC participants, including staff, how to communicate their thoughts about the activities we are doing.

I can’t wait to share some of these entries with you!

More to come, but I hope you have a wonderful Thanksgiving. At FHC, we remain thankful for your support and fellowship.

Additionally, if you know of anyone who might be interested in our Director of Operations role (description below), please forward this page to them!