Monday, October 26, 2015

SOY tabling with the Akins Eagles

banner in the school foyer

SOY peace team at Akins HS

Penny Poll results showed the largest vote for Education with approx. 30.2% of the pennies, followed by 24.5% for Health Care, 21.4% for Military, 16% for Environment and 7.5 % for Humanitarian Aid 

Student responses to poster questions

student responses to poster questions

Last week, we had a great visit to Akins High School during their two lunch periods.  We set up in the breezeway outside the cafeteria and had about 50 students complete our t-shirt challenge.  The questions we asked students generated some good discussion.  This was our debut of the new t-shirts we ordered from Aztec Printing (who did a great job), and both designs were popular.
New SOY shirts!

When we are on campus, we like to read the school newspaper, and the Oct. 7 issue of "The Eagle's Eye" had some great articles and opinion pieces by students.  One article that was especially inspiring was about a new program at Akins called "Restorative Circles."  Some classes such as AVID And SEL (Social Emotional Learning) are incorporating the circles as a way for students to share feelings and better understand each other.  As the writer explains,  "The circles provide a chance for students to speak their mind or talk about things that are going on in their lives.  The topics can range from something as simple as, 'how is your day?' to something more serious like,'what's the hardest thing about being a teenager?'  Students don't joke around about anything said."  According to the article, the circles are being tried partly as a way to prevent fights.  This sounds like a great idea, and we hope this first year of student participation in the circles goes well.

We didn't know about the Restorative Circles when we wrote up our poster questions for the t-shirt challenge, but the student responses seemed to reflect some of what they may be discussing in the Restorative Circle sessions. We noticed a banner saying that October is "Domestic Violence Awareness Month," so our questions about fighting were in conjunction with that.  We hoped students would also think more about the connections between domestic violence and violence in larger realms, such as foreign policy.

Thanks to all Akins Eagles who stopped by our table, did some research and offered their ideas and opinions.
T-shirt challenge questions for Akins HS


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