An article in last week’s Observer told how Morenci school fine arts students often travel out into the community for various events. There are occasional field trips to other cities, but most of the interaction takes place right at home.
The portion of the story that we find most interesting tells about the collaborative efforts between Morenci students and Stair Public Library. This interaction occasionally includes students from other classes—English and social studies come to mind—and it frequently goes beyond classwork.
Whenever there’s a special public program at the library, it’s likely that members of the Volunteer Club will be present to help set up chairs or to guide guests to an exhibit.
It’s also likely to find collaboration between art students and a library program. Teachers learn the details of a program and plan curriculum around the theme. At the New York City based show last weekend, it was high school art teacher Kym Ries who developed the idea for the event.
During the summer reading program, there always plenty of VolunTeens that help plan programs and make sure that younger children have a good experience.
Students aren’t only attending programs to help out. Several teachers offers extra credit to students who attend events. Those teachers understand the value of having students participate in events, and students often come up with some interesting questions for the library guest.
Morenci’s collaboration between school and community is admirable and should serve as a model for other school districts. The school benefits by meeting state requirements for community collaboration. Students benefit by learning to serve and by exposure to programs they might not otherwise have attended. The library benefits from the assistance that students offer and by increased depth to programs offered.
The community as a whole is bettered by the collaborative efforts, for all the reasons listed above.