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  • Writer's pictureElliot Washor

Elliot Washor's TGIF 1.5.2024

Updated: Jan 8

“Are you with me now” A J Ryder


“People trained to keep people in” Pam Roy

On our visit to Working Wardrobes in Santa Ana, Pam Roy and I were having a conversation with their Executive Director, Bonni Pomush when Pam said something like, ‘schools are designed to train people to keep people in school,’ That line hit me like a ton of bricks and I said to myself, Damn! That’s why internships and real-world learning are so hard. Everything about school is made to keep students in. From seat-time, to attendance, assessment, accountability, security, teacher pay, facilities, on and on, the entire system is an ‘Inside Job.’ And now with few exceptions, after school and summer school are designed to keep students in as well. Think about the irony that nearly 3 million students are suspended from school each year and over 100,000 get expelled. Who accounts for what they are doing when they are not in school? How is the school system thinking about their safety? For these students, are administrators worried about what they are doing or who they are with when they are out of school? * Yet, for safety’s sake and for the sake of carrying an academic load, we must keep all students under the thumb of seat-time as if that is really the only time or place we can account for learning.


Outlet – def. a way to release. Could an outlet be the place where you come and then go?


Working Wardrobe is an example of the kind of outlet we should be looking for to develop as B-U’s. Their work is to let people out hence a new definition of an outlet as a place that lets people out. Similar to B-U, Working Wardrobe has navigators who work with both youth and adults to find their interests and get them meaningful work. What other groups operate like that? Our next step with Working Wardrobe is to set up B-Us inside their outlets and help them open up more places where we want to work.


And, last night Anthonette and I met with Jennifer Lopez ED of California Police Activities League, a statewide organization that gets youth out. They are partners with us in our Harbor Freight Fellows and B-U.


In my search for more Outlets like these two I did another search of websites offering internships and there were loads. Here’s one in particular in mostly STEM fields - It seems our B-U Navigators and LTI coordinators should be sifting through these sites with youth.


It is not just Real-World Learning, it’s Real-World Living and Learning


I loved this Energy Challenge Quiz that appeared in the NY Times. It is a self-assessment Apgar-type quiz that gives immediate feedback. What you do with it is up to you. They follow the BPLIVING six measures almost to T.


You can’t do well without being well


Next week, I have meetings set up around the IBPLC and university partnerships as well as getting together with BPL staff for Sankofa Week – a time to both look back as we move ahead.


*FYI, regarding out of school suspensions a higher percentage of Black students (13.7 percent) than of students from any other racial/ethnic group received an out-of-school suspension, followed by 6.7 percent of American Indian/Alaska Native students, 5.3 percent of students of two or more races, 4.5 percent each of Hispanic and Pacific Islander students, 3.4. 


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