Killip Elementary School Public Achievement
Mission of Team:
Killip Public Achievement strives to create an atmosphere for elementary school students that honors their voices, respects their knowledge and abilities, and allows them to flourish as young community members. By matching Killip students with first year undergraduate coaches, graduate student coaches and community partners, we hope to begin the process of eliminating the barriers that separate low-income students from pursuing their passions. The collaborative community-based projects that we envision and enact should not only benefit people in tangible ways, but more importantly, should serve to awaken youth to the power that they possess.
Killip Elementary has hosted Public Achievement for almost 4 years. Public Achievement has existed in the afterschool program now for one and a half years. With a great deal of effort and support from the school staff and administration—especially Travis Drake, the FACTS coordinator at Killip—afterschool programming has been transformed into a nurturing, student-responsive, and dynamic experience for students.
In the Spring of 2013, student projects will mainly focus on a courtyard area that sits at the center of the school. The area, known as Luna Park, is mostly unused at this point and has fallen into a state of disrepair. Despite the rickety picnic tables and unruly shrubs, it is obvious to all students that the space possesses great potential as an outdoor learning area and event space. Similarly, it represents a project that can utilize a multitude of student interests and skills: construction, artistic design, planting, letter writing, public outreach, and documentation among others.
Public Achievement at Killip reaches approximately 100 students per week, and involves the efforts of nearly 25 first year NAU students.
The experience of being a public achievement coach at Killip also involves components of parent organizing around issues in the community. Projects have been very varied and have included the following:
-New books for the library
-Organizing around Immigration Reform
-Neighborhood Safety Campaigns
-Clothing drive for the Hope Cottage
-Recycled Art Projects
-Work in the community garden
-Raising food for the Flagstaff Family Food Center
-Painting a mural at the school
First year coaches at Killip also engage in a campus project of their own including:
-Substance Abuse Education Campaign on Campus
-Changing the way food works and the hours of dining locations on campus
-Advocating for a late night safe ride bus for campus safety
NAU students coach action teams consisting of about ten 1st-5th graders at Killip Elementary school. The elementary students pick issues they are concerned about and with the help of coaches develop an action plan for addressing these issues. In the process they learn the skills and practices through which to become the next generation of leaders exercising stewardship for common goods. In the pilot project during the spring of 2009, students picked issues like cleaning up a park, planting a garden, mural design, and possibly transforming a run-down ally into a community park with fruit trees, murals, a basket ball court, benches, etc. The possibilities are endless. In the process of coaching PA teams, coaches develop leadership skills themselves and learn a tremendous amount about democracy, diverse cultures, team building, and cultivating agency to enhance public goods.
This CB ART is only for very consistent students who will be diligent throughout the semester. Kids are depending on you!
Jacob Dolence, NAU Faculty, Public Achievement Coach/Facilitator
Brian Moody, Public Achievement Facilitator/Coach
“Society is like a stew. If you don’t stir it up every once in a while then a layer of scum floats to the top.”—Edward Abbey
Here’s a video that first year students made in the Fall of 2011!
For more information contact Jacob.Dolence@nau.edu