Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Celebrating Kathy Silver and her investment into Bridgeport youth! @writingproject @cwpfairfield

Silver is the New Gold (part II)

There are many reasons for CWP and Fairfield University to celebrate today, but I will begin with tonight's dinner to applaud Kathy Silver (part I can be read here). Two events will culminate this evening, but this morning I want to write about the teacher.

When I first began participating with students and teachers in Bridgeport, I started to follow the flow of individuals in every school to locate the rooms where they traveled to fuel their souls. I picked up on this trick from watching golden koi who will travel to the greatest food source. I've found that teachers and students in every building flock to the greatest heart-source and this is how I met Kathy Silver. Alisha Smith, Bridgeport-Yale Gear-Up and extraordinary woman, brought me to Ms. Silver's room when I first applied for a NWP 2012-2013 SEED High Needs grant. From that point on, I realizes that most anyone who needed a karmic break and burst of optimism during the school traveled to her art room.

In the year I've known Kathy Silver, I've witnessed how she creates a climate in support of all learners. She harvests creative instincts and encourages personal expression. Whenever anyone thinks in her presence, she maneuvers them into action. Recently, when I was thinking out loud in her room, she immediately went for her camera.  The What's your Literacy Wingspan? campaign, in fact, was born when an idea fluttering in my head was quickly brought to life by her talents.

Kathy has initiated multiple award-winning projects out of her art room at Bassick High School and, most recently, she's been building on an idea that was inspired by Sonya Huber at the back-to-school kick off made possible by NWP 2012-2013 High Needs SEED funding. She has her students artistically making creative claims about their communities. They are recreating positivity out of the negative ways their school is often viewed in the press. She is turning the work into a publication and an art-gallery exhibition.

Tonight, before Daniel Trust talks on his experience as a Rwandan genocide survivor, CWP-Fairfield and multiple partners (JUHAN, International Studies, Women, Gender and Sexuality Studies, Student Diversity Programs, Carol and Dorothy Bennett Center for Judaic Studies, and Catholic Studies) are hosting a dinner to celebrate the teacher that inspired Daniel Trust to take action in his own life. This is Kathy Silver. In fact, the annual teaching award given by this community activist is named after her and given to stellar educators in Connecticut who push for social justice and who support the excellence of all youth.

Silver's promotion of What's Your Literacy Wingspan? - a project being carried out at Hill Central in New Haven through the NWP 2013-2014 High Needs grant - is an example of her dedication. It is also a beautiful way to unite two schools who have benefited from NWPs support.

And this is why I'm officially declaring today Kathy Silver day, as she is the catalyst for introducing Fairfield University to Daniel Trust. Tomorrow, I will dedicate my blog to Daniel Trust, himself.

In the meantime, I have to admit: I love surrounding myself with awesome people.

1 comment:

  1. Just wonderful when great people collaborate to benefit our states students. I'm so happy to have gotten to know Mrs. Silver and Alisha Smith and witness first hand their dedication to young people every hour, every day and every year. It has motivated me to be the best mentor/educator and support for the leaders of our nations future. I tip my hat and give you both a giant cyber hug until I see you again.