Both teaching experiences happened to be in middle schools in Newark, New Jersey.
Q: What is Citizen Schools?A: We connect middle school students with the real world and their future career pathways, in partnership with public middle schools in urban communities.What makes us special is our apprenticeship model—semester-long projects that turn kids into young scientists, architects, lawyers, business owners, or cooks that are taught by volunteers, like you, we call Citizen Teachers.Every student we work with gains the skills, access and beliefs that equip them for a great future.AboutEducating children, strengthening communitiesMissionAt 31 campuses in eight states, serving 4.500 students and engaging 4,000 volunteers, we mobilize a second shift of afternoon educators, who provide academic support, leadership development, and apprenticeships: hands-on projects taught by volunteer experts. Citizen Schools is at the forefront of a movement to educate children, strengthen communities, and increase access to the American Dream.Company OverviewCitizen Schools partners with middle schools to expand the learning day for low-income children across the country. Since 1995, students at Citizen Schools have developed the academic and leadership skills they need to succeed in high school, college, the workplace, and civic life.
Talk about how you learned about citizen schools – talk about school profile, (show picture of school)
Curriculum development – saw Oregon’s Neighborhood Navigators but wanted more focus on how it is a comprehensive process. It’s not just about walking audit – what do you do with that information; I wanted them to know that there is a process that THEY can play a role in. they don’t have to wait for anyone to speak for them;
Since there had been a new principal he was unaware that a planning process had already taken place to evaluate safety around the school. So instead of just ensuring that the principal and vice principal had a copy, I shared it with the students to let them know that their safety was already being considered.
I wanted to show them that planners also work very closely with other professionals like architects and engineers to move from a plan to design. I brought in a landscape architect and an engineer who both work with me in the planning department of my firm. We were coming up with a plan for how to work more activity in their day. I worked with the students to brainstorm the programmatic activities that they would be interested in to get them more physically active such as walking school buses or bike trains. Charlie helped them with their vision for what the playground could look like by explaining the types of materials, play activities, turf, that are available in playground design.
Meanwhile, Mike (not in the picture) helped them assessing the school grounds for where the bike parking would be best.
This was an important moment in the class when it moved from just a fun exercise of clipping out examples of bicycle racks to presenting their thoughts to the person who could make it happen. For me it was important for them to learn not just to say what they wanted but to put together a case and verbally present it the who, what, where, how, and whens of it all. At the start of the class, they didn’t believe much c
At the end of the apprenticeship, students put on a WOW! A WOW! is the public presentation of what the students learned or produced over the 10 weeks. My students put these boards together – what we affectionately termed the “Who, What, and Where” Board to discuss the improvements that they wanted to see to their neighborhood. The board was a collage displaying their ideas of: WHO would benefit, WHAT the benefits are and WHAT their priorities are, and WHERE the improvements should be.
I wanted the students to really feel that they graduated and I didn’t want all our work to be in vain. So I created a pledge for them which was their diploma.(READ PLEDGE)I was particular about the words because I wanted them to understand that what we learned is applicable to their school community but should be applied to the community as a whole. If you see something that you want changed on Broad Street, you follow the same process and you now know who is in charge.
Here I am with my students proudly displaying their pledge.
Kids are candid in their thoughts and impressionsI actually thought I would lose them when I put on the PPT but they were engaged every single time. They had not been taught that way and they were pleased to learn new things in that way. They loved going out for the walkability assessment, assessing the bicycle parking and designing their playgroundThey paid attention to my nails, my clothing, etc.
The new playground was part of the legacy project. The 8th graders wanted the new playground to be their gift to the school. As a citizen school teacher, and having such a deep appreciation for the value of playgrounds I volunteered to help the students create this dream come true.
Moving planning into the classroom
Moving Planning Intothe ClassroomTiffany R. RobinsonChair, APA-NJ Ethnic &Cultural Diversity CommitteeAPA Planning Webinar SeriesDiverse, or Not Diverse? ThatIs the Question…for thePlanning ProfessionDecember 7th, 2012
My Volunteer Teaching Experience1. Citizens School Volunteer Teacher, Spring 20112. Volunteer Teacher for the APA-NJ Community Planning Assistance Program (CPAP), Spring 2012
Neighborhood NavigatorsWhat We Learned,What We Did, and What We Found
What We Learned• Who Planners are and what they do• Walkable Communities• Benefits of Walking and Biking• How to conduct a walkability assessment• Collecting mapping & census information• Ways to present our case – written, verbally, and in pictures• The process and decision-makers in their community
What We LearnedThe Goals of the NJ Safe Route to School Program
What We LearnedIvy Hill already has a Safe Routes to School Plan
What We LearnedThe way a street is designed influences how peopledrive 1 2 3 Which street has a speeding problem?
What We LearnedCrosswalks are provided to tell pedestrians where tocross and to tell drivers where to expect pedestrians
What We DidTalked about how to redesign the school playground
What We DidTalked about the best location for bike parking aroundthe school
What We DidTalked to our principal about bike parking
What We FoundCommunity conditions make it hard to walk
What We Found Our crosswalks aren’t as visible as other schools in the areaIvy Hill school zone crosswalk at Ivy Street and Lincoln School school zone crosswalk at RichelieuRichelieu Terrace Terrace and Cameron Road
What We FoundWe need more green and less litter!
What We FoundWe feel uncomfortable walking where we see ganggraffiti
WOW! NEIGHBORHOOD NAVIGATOR’S PLEDGE THIS IS TO CERTIFY THAT I,__________________________________________________, have successfully completed the Neighborhood Navigators Apprenticeship. I have a better understanding of communities and how Planning can help shape a community’s vision for the future. I will use my knowledge to encourage others to create a healthy and active school neighborhood where it is safe and convenient to walk, bike or play. I will take pride in the role that I play in making a difference in my school community and the greater community of Newark.
The After-MathDid you really have an influence?
What I Learned You’re so• Students can Goth.very be candid in their thoughts and impressions Me?“You actually know whatGoth? you’re talking about” Really??!!• They like powerpoints and doing hands-on exercise• When you think they’re not paying attention, they are…TO EVERYTHING
Contact MeTiffany R. RobinsonChair, APA-NJ Ethnic & Cultural DiversityCommitteeecdc.firstname.lastname@example.org://njplanning.org/membership/committees/ethnic-cultural-diversity/ /pages/Planning for Ethnic & Cultural Diversity Committee @APA_NJ_ECDC