|Program:||M.O.S.A.I.C. Leadership Class, Sunnyvale, CA|
|Contact(s):||Sofi Frankowski, Director: (408) 522-2400, or Bob Grover, Assistant Principal: (408)-522-2418|
|Purpose:|| To challenge and expand students' understanding of issues of diversity |
In the summer of 1996, Fremont High School sent 12 students to Camp Anytown, a one-week camp sponsored by The National Conference that focuses on issues of diversity. (Both Anytown and The National Conference have been highlighted by the President's Initiative on Race as Promising Practices.) Although they were excited to bring their new attitudes and information back to the school, there was no forum for them to share their ideas as a group. Making Our School An Inclusive Community (M.O.S.A.I.C.) was created in response to their need. The next group of students who went to Camp Anytown, along with 15 other selected students representing the diversity of the school, became the first M.O.SA.I.C. Leadership Class in August 1997. The students receive credits for the class, which meets for 18 weeks. Next year there will be two classes that meet for a semester each, allowing more kids to be involved.
A diverse group of M.O.S.A.I.C. participants are selected by other students for their ability to persuade others. This increases the likelihood that the positive effects of the program will get back to different groups of people who might not otherwise be reached. The first part of the course is spent creating a safe and open space for dialogue and allowing students to become comfortable with each other through icebreakers. The second portion of the class is designed to educate students and allow them to explore issues of ethnicity, culture, race, gender, faith, family, and sexual orientation. This takes place through a combination of lesson plans, videos, readings, structured discussions and activities. During the entire course, there is an emphasis on skills critical to being an effective leader: encouraging and valuing diverse perspectives; listening; expressing oneself verbally and in writing; facilitating discussion; designing, organizing, implementing and evaluating projects; and working with others. The remaining portion of the class focuses on helping the students turn their leadership skills into action--they are challenged to create projects that make the school a more racially and ethnically sensitive community.
Outcomes and Significant Accomplishments
M.O.S.A.I.C. has allowed students to assume responsibility for the cultural climate at Fremont High School. M.O.S.A.I.C. students have hosted a "cultural sharing day" with a class of second-language learners to share information on different cultures, designed and implemented a weekend diversity camp for 60 students and teachers, and they facilitated two full-day workshops for 75 more students and teachers. Additionally, they have given presentations to teachers and students from other schools at several meetings of the Coalition of
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