Notes from our November Community Conversation

Our fourth Community Conversation was held at Detroit Victory Outreach on Wabash and Selden.  The goal of these gatherings is to involve members of the Detroit neighborhoods, as well as nonlocal supporters, in discussions around education and what they would like to see in a community-based school.  Below are some notes taken by Julia.

Our focus question: How can the community contribute to an effective and positive urban school environment?

Below are some points made by participants.  Thanks to all for such a rich conversation!

• Schools don’t act the love! They need to!


• We need to "humanize" children.


• This is a creative era.

• When we established a classroom court, we shared power!


• Let's establish a culture of love, culture of patience, culture of community, culture of play.


• Setting a strong foundation is key.


• Use circles.


• We want to feel like we are a part of something bigger and we want to STOP cycles of fear.


• Importance of gaining social capital

• Are we afraid of kids?


• We are doing a disservice to our children by not focusing on awareness of self and how you relate to other people.


• Are we bringing in community members to teach in our school?


• How does the world work?  Arrange schools accordingly!


• 40 free thinkers could understand why there is structure.  This structure comes from the heart and allows for stability.


• We are interested in quality of thought.


• Are we teaching emotional awareness and sensitivity?


• The discussion around education and schooling needs to be profound and philosophical and it has to be relevant to individual human development.


• What types of personal work are doing and teaching?


• What do we expect from each other as a school community?


• Fear is natural and remind folks that it is ok to be afraid.


• When layers of learning take place...we are led to academic success.


• How do we train our children to be employable when no one knows what the economy will look like next week?


• Parents want to know-will they be safe? will they be cared for and loved?


• Parents want ONE viable alternative to their broken neighborhood school to send their child to.


• Acknowledging fear is empowering.


• Bring in family photos.


• Do the "balloon".


• Change is difficult and exhausting.  


• Materials cannot teach, people teach and experiences teach.


We can't wait to see you again after the New Year!  Stay posted!