Friends of Gibraltar’s (FOG’s) theme, Celebrating Uniqueness, is aiming to give students in seventh and eighth grades an opportunity to use literature, writing and art to explore what it means in their lives to be accepted and accept others for who they are.
FOG projects are based in experience so students started this project by spending a day solving group challenges at the Team Leadership Center. Students did activities that helped them get to know their classmates in new ways and gain new appreciation for the unique gifts each person brings to the team. They also discussed what acceptance means to them at school and established how they want to work together as a class to grant acceptance to one another.
Students in seventh grade read The Devil’s Arithmetic by Jane Yolen, conveying an unforgettable story of intolerance in a Nazi concentration camp. Eighth grade students read The Outsiders by S.E. Hinton, conveying how stereotyping people can lead to great misunderstanding and tragedy.
Thanks to a collaboration with Write On, Door County, Children’s author Kelly Barnhill joined seventh grade English classes and worked with English teacher Angie Hallett for a week following the Team Leadership Center experience. Barnhill taught writing workshops based on tolerance and acceptance. She took students through the process of developing a character and a message or moral that conveys the importance of tolerance and acceptance. Seventh graders are also working in art classes with teacher Laura Meikle to create illustrations to go with their writing pieces.
Filmmaker Chris Opper joined eighth graders after their Team Leadership Center experience to give students the opportunity to work in teams to develop three-to-five minute films that convey acts of tolerance and acceptance.
An exhibit reception and film festival will be held for The Acceptance Project on Dec. 10 at 6:30 pm at Door Community Auditorium. Join students for the exhibit reception in the Link Gallery of Children’s Art. Seventh graders will share their work by reading some of their stories, and eighth graders will share their film about tolerance and acceptance.