Inescapably White

By: Miesha Ebacher (first grade teacher) Yesterday I was reading about the universe in Bill Bryson’s book “a short history of nearly everything”. He was describing the space of space and the hugeness of the cosmos that we just barley exist within. As I read I couldn’t help but instantly understand my puny little push…

Never Too Young to Make an Impact

Maria Wahlstrom (Instructional Coordinator) and Miesha Ebacaher (First Grade Teacher) Project Darfur, led by Miesha Ebacher and her first grade class, has led me to question popular assumptions about youth: Are “growing up” and “gaining experience” the only prerequisites for becoming important individuals who inspire others? Or do kids already have the power to lead…

Listen to What Children Have to Say About Peace…

By: Miesha Ebacher (first grade teacher) The first grade class will be teaching high school students next week. Youth Connections Leadership Academy High School has invited our students to host a teach-in about the genocide that is currently happening in Darfur. Check out the commercial that the first graders made about the effects of war…

Puzzle Me a New

By: Miesha Ebacher (first grade teacher) I feel very blessed and honored to be a part of this movement at VLA…we can call it that right? The conversations we have as a staff (although heated with passion, fueled with confusion and desperate for understanding) challenge me each day to grow into the person that I…

Project Darfur (A Children’s Movement)

By: Miesha Ebacher (first grade teacher) It is easy to convince yourself that you are powerless to the problems of this world. Looking outside of my classroom windows, I can easily imagine the nameless acts of violence, ignorance and destruction that pass through our history as quickly as they flash across the headlines of the…

First Grade Learns What?!

Here is a sample lesson of integrating Reading and Social Studies in our Africa Unit.  Ms Ebacher and her first graders are reading and discussing the rise and fall of the Ghana and Mali Empires using perspective taking skills. Some of the key concepts include: social hierarchy, Islamic interactions with African empires, how expanding empires…