Pinedale classes selected for School-Community Initiative
by University of Wyoming
November 2, 2011
Students in two Pinedale High School classes are participating in an innovative school-community engagement initiative this fall that will benefit the community.
They are Jasper Warembourg’s humanities class and Rose DeNinno’s advisory class. John Anderson, a University of Wyoming political scientist who teaches online courses, will guide the initiative that also includes Worland High School and Torrington Middle School.
Sponsored by the Wyoming School-University Partnership (WSUP), the project will run from 18-24 months. The program will engage students as citizens in their community by identifying a community improvement project. Students and teachers will work with the community to implement it.
The WSUP is a collaboration that engages stakeholders at UW, school districts, community colleges and state government to address a variety of educational concerns.
DeNinno says her ninth graders are eager to participate in the program and are excited to make a positive difference in their community. Warembourg’s class has already generated a list of possible ideas.
Anderson, who lives in Pinedale, says, "I am excited to get started in Pinedale and to see what the students decide to do. It is always interesting to see how young people perceive community needs."
The initiative offers an early college experience as university professors will meet with the students and teachers to provide help and expertise. Later students will present their work at several conferences at UW.
"Students get to learn that college professors are real people who actually like to laugh," Anderson says. "While learning that professors are people, students also will learn what it is like to work with someone who has been immersed in learning a subject and has deep insights about it."
Both Pinedale teachers have completed similar work. They were chosen because of their experiences and enthusiasm for learning through experience. Projects in other schools have proven to be successful. In one project, middle school students helped re-open their community movie theater. In other instances, students improved their community by designing and painting a public mural, started a new community celebration and completed a school improvement project.
The National Network for Educational Renewal, the UW Student Affairs office and Sublette County School District No. 1 support the project.
To learn more about the Pinedale project, contact Anderson at (307) 367-3554 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. For complete information about the initiative, including the other Wyoming schools that were selected, go to www.uwyo.edu/wsup.