Posts Tagged ‘camden’

East Camden teens take a positive message on the road

Friday, June 13th, 2014

Vaughn Williams and Fredrick Henderson traveled to Colorado to talk about “The Third Space.” (ED HILLE / Staff Photographer)
By Kevin Riordan, Inquirer Columnist

East Camden Middle School student Vaughn Williams took an idea – about a place both physical and spiritual – and ran with it.

Halfway across the country.

In Denver on May 9, Williams, assisted by eighth-grade classmate Fredrick Henderson, addressed about 150 people during a national Youth Development Institute conference.

Their presentation featured video, a logo (an empty cube), and audience participation. It centered on a notion called “The Third Space,” where one can find solitude or community, stress reduction, or strength of purpose.

The Third Space “is not quite home . . . it’s that place that you retreat to, that place that occupies your thoughts,” Williams told the crowd at the Jack A. Vickers Boys and Girls Club.

Henderson distributed paper copies of the empty cube logo, urging the audience of kids from San Francisco, Minneapolis, Philadelphia, and other cities to fill the blank space with words that describe their own Third Space.

Their thoughts were captured in a word cloud, laden with upbeat nouns such as peace, laughter, and friends. The presentation earned the East Camden duo, both 14, a standing ovation.

Two weeks after their return from Colorado, I meet Miller and Henderson in the cafeteria at East Camden Middle, where both participate in the EducationWorks after-school and summer enrichment program.

EducationWorks is funded through a federal grant and serves about 400 students at East Camden Middle, Woodrow Wilson High School, and the McGraw and Cramer Elementary Schools. It aims to broaden horizons, develop character, and help students build leadership, collaboration, and other skills.

A letter Williams wrote last fall to Chase V. Miller, the EducationWorks middle school coordinator, provided the inspiration for The Third Space.

“Vaughn had some behavioral and academic issues,” Miller says.

“I was pretty hyper,” Williams says, laughing.

“Vaughn talked in the letter about sometimes he breaks, but how we all put him back together again because there are so many positive individuals in this space,” Miller continues. “The letter was a window into how our program works for kids.”

Miller thought of the letter again this year when he got an invitation from the Youth Development Institute, seeking students to speak at the national conference using the popular “TED Talk” format.

“He told me about the third space, and I did some research,” Williams says. He became familiar with sociologist Ray Oldenburg’s book The Great Good Place, which talks about the importance of informal social gathering places outside of home and work.

The more Williams thought about it, he realized that a person’s third space can be a mental, as well as a physical, locale.

“My third space is EducationWorks,” he says. “No one gives up on you in EW.”

Miller and Williams put together a video in collaboration with Philadelphia filmmaker Mike Dennis. It won Vaughn a slot at the conference.

“We’ve used this video to show what productive youth-adult partnerships look like,” says Sarah Zeller-Berkman, director of community youth development.

Williams began collaborating with Henderson, and soon his friend was officially on board to help develop the presentation, Miller says.

“They put a lot of hard work into this,” he adds. “They gave up lunch period! They did this for a city that doesn’t get as much recognition as it should, for a school that doesn’t get as much attention as it should.”

He had Williams memorize “great pieces of oratory”; Henderson studied TED Talks on YouTube to pick up pointers on how to engage audiences.

“They were representing Camden, and they were very aware of the bad rap Camden gets and the bad rap the school district has been dealing with,” says EducationWorks director Bianca M. White.

I’ve seen a rough video cut of the presentation; Williams and Henderson do themselves, their city, and their “third space” proud.

kriordan@phillynews.com

856-779-3845 @inqkriordan

www.inquirer.com/blinq

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Registration Deadline March 27 – A Few Spaces Left! Burlington/Camden County Training 4/6/13

Thursday, March 21st, 2013

Click here to register now!

Choose between:
1.5 hours of Games, Games, Games with Dennis Groomes AND 1.5 hours of STEM with Chris Jorn
OR
3 hours: Stewards of the Children/Darkness to Light with Danielle Weist

Descriptions:

Games, Games, Games with Dennis Groomes (1.5 Hours)

Two hours that are all about playing games. Learn games where no one is eliminated, learn games that can be played with limited materials, all active, engaging and fun, encouraging teamwork and relationship building in your programs. These games are also great for staff team building. Come dressed to play!

Hands on STEM (1.5 Hours)

STEM based curriculum’s are designed to remove the traditional educational barriers between a student’s school day and an afterschool experience. In this session, participants will experience hands-on science and literacy resources used in afterschool settings. The goal of STEM activities is to get everyone engaged in science related activities, which would hopefully spark a long term interest in and love of science. This interactive session will demonstrate activities from Afterschool Science Plus and Girls at the Center. All activities are fun and easy to design for grades K-8 and can be used with both girls and boys.

OR

Stewards of Children (3 Hours)

Stewards of Children is the only nationally available program scientifically proven to increase knowledge, improve attitudes and change child-protective behaviors.

Topics Covered:
– facts about the problem of child sexual abuse
– types of situations in which child sexual abuse may occur
– simple, effective strategies for protecting children from sexual abuse
– the importance of talking about the prevention of sexual abuse with children and adults
– the signs of sexual abuse so at you might intervene and be able to react responsibly

When: Saturday April 6, 2013
Time: 9 AM to 12 PM
Where: 59 Centerton Road, Mt. Laurel NJ 08054
Fee: $15 per person 
To Register: Fill out this on-line registration form here.

REGISTRATION DEADLINE: March 27, 2013

This training is hosted by the NJSACC Afterschool Ambassador of Burlington and Camden County:
Maria Rivera-Butler, Burlington County
Jen Segleken, Burlington County
Elena Piperno, Camden County
Danielle Weist Camden County

For Registration Details, invoice, information or other questions, please contact Jessica Heiberg at 908-789-0259

Click here to register now!

Camden & Burlington Counties! Up to 3 hours of training available on 4/6/2013

Wednesday, February 13th, 2013

Click here to register now!

Choose between:
1.5 hours of Games, Games, Games with Dennis Groomes AND 1.5 hours of STEM with Chris Jorn
OR
3 hours: Stewards of the Children/Darkness to Light with Danielle Weist

Descriptions:

Games, Games, Games with Dennis Groomes (1.5 Hours)

Two hours that are all about playing games. Learn games where no one is eliminated, learn games that can be played with limited materials, all active, engaging and fun, encouraging teamwork and relationship building in your programs. These games are also great for staff team building. Come dressed to play!

Hands on STEM (1.5 Hours)

STEM based curriculum’s are designed to remove the traditional educational barriers between a student’s school day and an afterschool experience. In this session, participants will experience hands-on science and literacy resources used in afterschool settings. The goal of STEM activities is to get everyone engaged in science related activities, which would hopefully spark a long term interest in and love of science. This interactive session will demonstrate activities from Afterschool Science Plus and Girls at the Center. All activities are fun and easy to design for grades K-8 and can be used with both girls and boys.

OR

Stewards of Children (3 Hours)

Stewards of Children is the only nationally available program scientifically proven to increase knowledge, improve attitudes and change child-protective behaviors.

Topics Covered:
– facts about the problem of child sexual abuse
– types of situations in which child sexual abuse may occur
– simple, effective strategies for protecting children from sexual abuse
– the importance of talking about the prevention of sexual abuse with children and adults
– the signs of sexual abuse so at you might intervene and be able to react responsibly

When: Saturday April 6, 2013
Time: 9 AM to 12 PM
Where: 59 Centerton Road, Mt. Laurel NJ 08054
Fee: $15 per person 
To Register: Fill out this on-line registration form here.

REGISTRATION DEADLINE: March 27, 2013

This training is hosted by the NJSACC Afterschool Ambassador of Burlington and Camden County:
Maria Rivera-Butler, Burlington County
Jen Segleken, Burlington County
Elena Piperno, Camden County
Danielle Weist Camden County

For Registration Details, invoice, information or other questions, please contact Jessica Heiberg at 908-789-0259

Click here to register now!