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''A School Where Passion Rules''
aka Where Passion Rules
(Inspired by and dedicated to the Bronx Guild)
Imagine if you would a world
where students yearn for class
Inspired to achieve much more
than just get by and pass
Their teachers get to know them
and what makes it all worthwhile
They learn about the world in ways
that honor their true style
Imagine just how far they'll be
the difference that they'll make
When energy and interests guide
the courses that they take
Their families' and teams' support
hone character AND mind
And yes they read and write well too
They won't get left behind
And mentored by adults
while they engage the world around
They'll gain some real life smarts
as they grow up and outward bound
Eventually they'll graduate
with life's best skills and tools
For learning's an adventure
in a school where passion rules!
A few days ago, an administrator at a unique new school in the Bronx, New York called and told me an intriguing story:
Alex, a tenth-grader attending The Bronx Guild, was searching online for a music industry internship, as part of the Apprenticeship Program at his school . He found my hiphopentrepreneur.com website, downloaded my bio, and submitted it to the program coordinator as a possible lead.
On her invitation, I visited this unique school yesterday and was blown away! I met Rhonda and Al, Alex's teacher, who introduced me to a curriculum which featured, in addition to the standard focus on math, science, social studies and english, also included independent projects based on students' interests and an apprenticeship program which gives them real-world experience. During my short visit, I spoke to one student who's interning in the mayor's office, another whose passion for horses has her doing research comparing equine and human immunity and saw others actively engaged on computers in a variety of passion pursuits. And, get this: they end the day with ten minutes of positive affirmations!
This was all new to me, and was like seeing the type of school and educational environment I wished existed during my school years! Better still, being an advocate of the pursuit of one's passion, it was just the type of school I would start myself!
The most impressive thing I learned was that while graduation rates in traditional high schools are reaching dismal lows of 5%, the percentage of kids graduating from a school like the Bronx Guild, utilizing what I call passion-centered learning, are at 90% and above!"
The Bronx Guild is one of the new menu of educational options available to families, and that are using experiential learning (learning by being and doing), and using the Big Picture philosophy and model to engage students. They've realized that different individuals respond to different learning environments, as described by an excerpt from their mission statement.
"The development of Individualized Learning Plans for each student ensures that we are meeting the needs of all learners, that the curriculum is designed around how people learn, and that a student's engagement is based on his or her passion."--Excerpt from Bronx Guild Mission Statement
Like his idol, Damon Dash of Roc-A-Fella Records, Alex is inspired to pursue his passion in order to give back to his community in meaningful ways. I promised Alex and Rhonda and Al that we would make something happen. So, I'm making this plea to you my readers to provide any leads that might lead to an internship for Alex. Contact his Apprenticeship Coordinator Rhonda Jaffee at (718)597-1587 or email firstname.lastname@example.org Visit www.bronxguild.org to learn more
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Walt's Life Rhyme #342
(A School Where Passion Rules)
© Walt F.J. Goodridge
Originally published: 04-16-2004
''I share what I know,
so that others may grow!''
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