Crafting Public Purpose Partnerships

Join the conference on Wednesday for…Crafting Public Purpose Partnerships

This is a three hour optional workshop that will take place on Wednesday and promises to provide a unique opportunity to hear from four individuals representing four different organizations and their partnerships. LEARN MORE about this fascinating session- Explore the presenters and get a sample of what one group will present through a virtual tour of a learning space in Second Life and a Real Life Blacksmithing class. Intrigued…? Trust me, you will want to check this out.

Public purpose becomes common purpose when schools and individuals transcend boundaries of class, culture, roles and physical location to engage fully with others. Four organizations will describe how their partnering models democratize access to learning, make the most of technology and ultimately ensure the long-term sustainability of the partners and the communities they serve.

The session will be moderated by Tim Fish, McDonough School (MD). Your presenters for Crafting Public Purpose Partnerships include:

Here is a preview of one idea that will be presented

U7: A Center for Youth Development in a Partnership for Public Purpose

“We’ve taken all the ideas for the building so far and used them to create a 3D model. This virtual model, built in Second Life, will help the youth leadership team plan the renovation.”

What’s the basic idea?

The vision of U7 is Las Vegas youth passionately engaged in their learning and active participants in shaping their own and their community’s future. Our mission is to provide youth aged 6 to 18 with hands-on learning experiences and one-on-one attention in alliance with the public school system, university and college partners, and other youth-serving agencies. Young people will decide about the program and community norms to an unusual degree, as a way to develop their leadership.

Is this really a partnership?

U7 is led by UWC-USA. Partners include but are not limited to the City of Las Vegas, Las Vegas City Schools, Luna Community College, Mainstreet Las Vegas, New Mexico Highlands University, and West Las Vegas Schools. In addition, youth from all over San Miguel County have participated in the design of the renovation and met about the program. Partner representatives have been meeting since 2008 to develop a shared vision. Particular attention has been paid to U7 as a center that cultivates the values, skills, and understandings essential to the future of Las Vegas. Partner organizations will collaborate in the staffing and funding of U7.

Why is this location so important?

U7 is centrally located in the historic downtown, midway between two school districts, and accessible by foot and bicycle. In early 2010, the City’s master planning process identified U7 as a “catalyzing project” due to the readiness of the building for renovation and its capacity to inspire other developments in a comprehensive approach to reclaiming the heritage of Las Vegas. In 2008, following news of the impending donation of the building to UWC-USA, a design charrette involving 200 people was held, soliciting broad-based input. Findings from that event informed an ongoing process of envisioning a center to enliven the heart of the City.

“What good will it do me?” young people might ask!

U7’s programs will provide core employment skills. Leading national experts on jobs of the future identify desired traits that include the ability to work in a team, knowing how to learn, and the capacity for adaptive change, not to mention basic literacy in the New Media. U7’s programs will all relate to skills like these, while the learner’s personal outcomes will include an enhanced ability to find meaningful work, provide for their families, and create economic resilience. Therefore, the program array will include projects that require learning about marketing and business planning, the use of media, teamwork, and tutoring in the basic skills of math and literacy. The result will be more entrepreneurs and more wage earners in Las Vegas.

Is this an afterschool “warehouse” or serious education or what?

U7 programs will also be grounded in applied knowledge so that youth learn the satisfaction of making positive changes in the world around them. This teaches confidence in creativity and awareness of process and consequence. Cognitive learning becomes connected to real world action. The learner’s personal outcomes include a sense of purpose and personal power. Las Vegas benefits by preserving traditional skills, the expansion of those skills into the modern context, and the creation of new business opportunities. U7’s program will include workshops and courses on stagecraft, studio arts, STEM initiatives, design, filmmaking, and writing. These experiences, like all the others, will be evaluated for their impact on personal growth and their effect on school engagement. The results will also be seen in a rejuvenation of interest in science and the arts and crafts of Las Vegas.

United World College Blacksmithing Course

This session requires advanced registration which can be done through the NAIS Annual Conference Registration Site. If you plan to attend this session, go to the registration site and add the three hour workshop identified as W5: Crafting Public Purpose Partnerships.

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3 Responses to Crafting Public Purpose Partnerships

  1. Pingback: The Daily Find: February 2, 2011 | NAIS Annual Conference 2011 Community

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