“In order for someone to rise there must be a willingness and courage to stand…”
The theme for the RISE fall program was “My Voice”, what it is and how we strengthen and exercise that voice as leaders. The RISE kids had open round table discussions as well as group writing assignments that allowed them to explore their voice within their community, their voice culturally, their voice as leaders and their voice politically. The RISE kids had the opportunity to meet with guests, Mayor Linder, Judge Vann and Commissioner Whitaker as they spoke about the courage it takes to speak out, whether in a voting booth, on a campaign trail or as a community organizer. Being involved and not allowing fear to rule your ability to speak out was the message received from our guests and with those words of wisdom, the RISE kids will take that message moving forward to finish out the program.
Each week opened the door for the RISE kids to work on their writing, communication and oratory skills as they continued to prepare for their final presentation which was in December 2014, called “Our Voices.” “Our Voices” was a collection of stories written by the RISE kids and presented aloud. Story telling is the first step in finding and developing one’s voice and through the presentation of “Our Voices”, the RISE kids had the chance to tackle any apprehensiveness they may have had towards public speaking. This exercise also provided them with a way for their voices and their stories to be heard.
RISE students also had the opportunity to meet and speak with Principal Akosua Watts of CCSA, where the discussion was about their voice within their school.
The theme for the RISE spring program was “My Niche”. Students were given the opportunity to look within to discover their own strengths and weakness and to receive feedback from their peers to better understand their own uniqueness. They came up with goals for themselves in different areas of their lives and then explored how their own personality and persona could add to the community, and how through leadership they could share their gifts with their community.
Chester Charter School for the Arts
Principal Akosua Watts