Four Items to Make You Hopeful for Portland Kids & Schools in 2013: A Belated Happy New Year Message

HappyNewYearPicWinter term starts tomorrow, and it’s a bittersweet transition.  I always love the start of a new term and the energy that it holds, but I am reluctant to switch from mama-on-holiday mode and head back to the classroom!  Getting back to teaching also means getting back to writing, and I am starting the year with hope for Portland kids and schools.  Here are four items that make me hopeful for Portland kids and schools in 2013:

  • Third Rail Repertory Theater presents the world premier of A Noble Failurea “call to arms” on the issue of the current state of public education.  This is particularly significant because it’s spawning a series of discussions including some of the heavy weights in education activism in Portland: Save Our Schools, Rethinking Schools, and Social Equality Educators.  Check out showings and discussions!
  • There’s a new PAC in town: Communities of Color for a Just Oregon.  Read more in this recent Oregonian article.  Children of color are often those with the fewest resources in their neighborhood public schools.  I have no doubt that this PAC will be advocating for kids and families and creating an even louder voice in the conversations we must have on inequity in our community.  Excellent news.
  • A book release party for Papers: Stories of Immigrant Youth at PSU on January 19 at 5:00 p.m. With the inevitable attempt (hopefully successful) to reintroduce and pass the DREAM Act in 2013, it is important for us all to remember what this is all about and those who have been working for so long to support immigrant youth.
  • A host of new education activists (in big and small ways) and future teachers.  I spent a few days writing letters of recommendation for students who area applying for teaching programs.  These students are full of energy, a sense of justice for youth, creativity, and enthusiasm.  Very hopeful indeed!  Also, part of my work this week will be contacting former students to encourage activism in the new year and to invite new writers for PDXEAN.  I already have one excellent blog series coming up from a fabulous guest writer and have heard from many former students who are pursuing work or volunteer positions in social justice positions.  This gives me the most hope of all.

With this as a first note of 2013, I hope that you’ll share with me your hope for kids and schools in 2013.  What makes you most hopeful?



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