By Alexis Hopper, Program Coordinator
This past July, 12-year-old educator and GOVLEARN founder (and now 2018 Caroline D. Bradley Scholar!), Luke Gialanella, presented Academy‘s fourth student-lead workshop. Votes and Voices: The Electoral College invited students ages 9-14 to participate in an informative and fun introduction to the U.S. presidential election process, including a hands-on electoral simulation and vocabulary challenge, culminating in a baseball cap raffle prize.
Previously, published young author and veteran Academy student Cassidy Kao lead three poetry workshops, including Shakespeare’s Tragedies and Sonnets. Her mission, to help young reluctant writers learn to love writing through poetry, inspired her to offer similar poetry workshops at the Pasadena Public Library and to create her website, iPoetTree.
Luke and Cassidy’s success is a testament not only to their passion and talent, but also to their dedication and hard work. And it goes without saying that it takes plenty of planning and prep! Students who are compelled to volunteer their time and energy to offer a workshop must prepare in much the same way as Academy instructors do. Determining content, researching materials, developing age-appropriate activities, and reworking curriculum in collaboration with the Program Coordinator are expectations of all prospective workshop leaders. In addition to budgeting time for collaboration and planning, students are responsible for composing their own workshop description and bio for approval by the marketing team. Sound like fun? It is!
As Academy looks forward to our next student-run workshop this November 2, Votes and Voices: Mid-Term Elections and Why They Matter, we reflect on the ways that this opportunity, created for and by students, resonates with IEA’s mission of serving the intellectual, creative and personal growth of our nation’s gifted and high-potential youth. Whether leading their own workshop or engaging as an active participant, students at Academy are creating a unique space for themselves where they can:
- Engage in educational experiences that promote optimal challenge, mentorship, exploration of ideas and recognition of personal potential;
- Connect with like-minded peers to support a diverse community that creates a sense of belonging and affirmation;
- Foster intellectual curiosity, the acquisition of knowledge, confidence, creativity, responsibility, and moral decisiveness.
Interested in attending future student-led Academy workshops? Sign up for our mailing list to receive details and registration information as soon as it’s released!