Thursday, January 21, 2016

Casady MLK Day 2016

MLK Day, Monday February 18, 2016


Where? Direct Service/Advocacy Rebuilding Together Mission:"Rebuilding lives and neighborhoods. Making homes safe warm and dry. Bringing volunteers and communities together to improve the homes and lives of low-income elderly homeowners in the Oklahoma City and metro area."
8:30-4:00 From the home of Mr. Ronald DeWitt-Clark: Coach B., Coach T., Isaiah L.'17, Dylan D.'16 (Photographer) reporting  20 UD volunteers refurbished the exterior of Mr. Ronald Dewitt-Clark. Cyclones scrapped the exterior and painted the whole house in a very cold MLK Day 2016. The project was coordinated by Mr. Brett Crecelius, Rebuilding Together, Project Manager.

Preliminary comments were:
"It was so much fun!  Love to accomplish so much in such little time."
"It was so cold! I had several layers of clothing so I could take it, but on the ladder my toes were freezing.  It was fun."
"The bus left and we did not want to bother Mr. Dewitt-Clark.  We went in the house only to use the facilities when needed. We went to Coach B. and Coach T.'s vehicles for some warmth."  "It was nice to have lunch at a warm pizza restaurant. Thank you Coach T. and Coach B. for carpooling us.  It would have been painfully cold to eat lunch outside!"

Cost of the Project: Transportation, lunch, snacks, drinks, supplies (donated by Rebuilding Together), time

Where? Regional Food Bank of Oklahoma Volunteer Center  Indirect Service/Advocacy. "The Regional Food Bank of Oklahoma distributes food and other products through a network of more than 1,250 charitable feeding programs, including food pantries, homeless shelters, church pantries, soup kitchens, food resource centers and schools." 
9:30 -12:00 Packing Food  Morning Shift:  Reported by volunteers.  "We served during the morning shift packing frozen vegetables for hungry Oklahomans!"

Afternoon Shift: 1:30-4:00  Packed food for the Food for Kids backpack program and had a food insecurity simulation at the end of the shift.  
Mrs. Cherylynn O'Melia reporting.  Mrs. Briana Titus, photographer
The Regional Food Bank's Food or Kids program started as a pilot program in 2003 after hearing a firsthand account of an Oklahoma City elementary student who fainted on a Monday morning while waiting in the school lunch line, due to lack of food over the weekend. The program provides chronically hungry children with backpacks filled with non-perishable, nutritious, kid-friendly, shelf-stable food to sustain them over weekends and school holidays.
During the 2014-2015 school year, the Backpack Program served nearly 18,500 elementary school students attending 514 schools across 53 central and western Oklahoma counties, providing more than 2 million meals for chronically hungry children..

Regional Food Bank of Oklahoma Totals
75 total people volunteered/represented Casady. 9,630 meals packed. 3,852 backpacks!

Fifth grade had the most volunteers with a total of 22. They were followed by 18 in 8th, and a total of 10 in 7th.  10 Casady Lower Division students, 6 Casady Upper Division teens and 10 OU students were also part of the Casady volunteer team in the afternoon shift.

Pictures of the MLK Day 2016 by Mrs. Titus at the Food Bank here 

Cost of the project:
Self-transportation, snacks and drinks (provided by Food Bank), Time

Where? OKC National Memorial and Museum
Advocacy/Research Service 9:45-4:00 pm "At the core of the Oklahoma City National Memorial & Museum’s mission are efforts to educate about the impact of violence, as well as advocate for violence prevention. Our legislature was integral in passing progressive legislation to ensure the Oklahoma City bombing is taught in all U.S. and Oklahoma history classes in the state."
Mrs. Carmen Clay, Daniela Rodriguez-Chavez'19 -reporting Anna Buckley, Timothy Bryer-Ash, and Mrs. Shannon Presti -photographers

Interactive learning experience facilitated by Youth LEAD OKCasady, Daniela R-C'19 who created the advocacy project after an investigation visit to the museum the Sunday before MLK Day 2016 with her cultural competency, diversity/identity education, and leadership through service youth board, Youth LEAD OKC.

This project brought together teens from Casady, Heritage Hall, Putnam City West, and Capitol Hill High Schools. 24 teens and 3 adults received free admission to the museum courtesy of the museum and lunch and snacks courtesy of Casady School Upper Division Principal, Dr. Jon Powell  

To begin the day, after waiting a few minutes for people to arrive, Daniela ushered participants to the museum's classroom and facilitated a welcome, "share your expectations" on post it notes while enjoying a cereal bar.  

Then, Daniela took participants to the Museum, an experience "through a chronological self-guided tour of the story of April 19, 1995, and the days, weeks and years that followed the bombing of Oklahoma City's Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building.  The story tracks the remarkable journey of loss, resilience, justice, and hope."

At the end of the tour, back at the Museum's classroom, during a Cheezets and hydrating water break, Mrs. Beverly Kirk, a guest from Diversi-Tea and quilter, put the museum in "real time" perspective because of her personal experiences with victims and survivors of the bombing.  Mrs. Kirk also connected the museum's visit to Dr. King's vision of peace, understanding, teamwork, collaboration, and going beyond co-existence interactivity.

The morning continued with a lesson at the museum Uncover-Discover STEM forensics lab. The lab "creates a multimedia experience that aims to excite and encourage students to pursue STEM careers. 

The Uncover-Discover Lab integrates STEM concepts with history in a highly interactive environment that stimulates learning and connects the past with the future. 

TheUncover-Discover Lab is an academically oriented experience that is geared toward middle and high school students."

Mrs. Shannon Presti, Youth LEAD OKC CEO suggested to work in groups by birthday months to connect teens from different schools. Mrs. Lynn Porter facilitated the session.  Special thanks to Mrs. Porter for helping Daniela create this advocacy for hope, kindness, service, and honor opportunity for Cyclones and Oklahoma City teens on her day off from work.


During pizza and salad lunch time, a quick survey by Mrs. Clay and Mrs. Kirk showed that most teens had taken tours with their schools of the memorial, but only a couple had visited our state of the art memorial museum.  The lab was a second experience to a hand full of participants.  
Most teens were born by 9/11. The bombing is something they read about in books, see online remembrances off or have indirect connections with, as when some of the members of the Class of 2019 explored the Museum's Hope Trunk and planted a survival tree seedling at the Casady campus during Peace Week when they were in the 5th grade.

Survival Tree Seedling Planting in honor of September 21, 2011 -  International Day of Peace, Class of 2019

In the afternoon Daniela ushered the group to a quick outside tour of the Memorial guided by a Park Ranger in a very cold winter MLK Day.  

As the freezing temperatures shorten the experience, the group had an opportunity to visit the museum's store before starting a tour of the Museum's archives facilitated by Mrs. Porter.  "The Memorial Archives has assisted researchers from all over the country and the world. Resources from the Memorial Archives have been utilized for projects ranging from middle school research papers to doctoral dissertations to video documentaries, even to assisting novelists."

At the archives, Mrs. Clay showed a collage of 1,000 service pics from 2000-2005 that created a picture of the memorial walls and reflecting pool made by Cyclone Bandon Spivey'05.  Brandon named his collage, "Reflecting Resilience."  At the archives, the group discovered many historical facts and stories of how violence and death turned into hope and serenity by the Oklahoma Standard displayed after the bombing.
"April 19, 1995, altered the face of Oklahoma – and the nation – forever.  But rather than bow to fear as the attackers intended, the community banded together. Cars became ambulances. Strangers became neighbors. People literally donated the shoes off their feet. Visiting rescue workers and journalists called this spirit of generosity the “Oklahoma Standard.”

When Mrs. Porter was asked about the relationship between the 9/11 museum and the OKC museum, she mentioned that the NYC organizers had consulted with our museum before building the NYC Memorial and Museum. Sadly, some of the rescue workers who helped in the OKC bombing, perished while helping during 9/11. Another difference pinpointed was that it only took a few years to build our memorial.  It took a decade to build the 9/11 Memorial.

Mrs. Clay co-related the Museum archives and its value of preserving history to the Casady archives, where the history of Casady is preserved from its inception in 1947 until the present.  An example, a picture of Mrs. Clay as an exchange student from Peru in the school year of 1973-74 can be found there. The Casady archives location is at the Casady Crabtree Library.

After the archives visit, Daniela ushered the group to a First Person presentation.  Due to the MLK Day Parade, our speaker was a few minutes late.  This gave Mrs. Porter the opportunity to do a quick survey of the audience about the Oklahoma Standard. Some adults were aware of the meaning and shared what they did during the month of April 2015 in honor of the 20th anniversary of remembrance.

Mrs. Clay reminded some students of Mrs. Crossno explanation of the Oklahoma standard: "A rescue NYC firefighter came with only $20 in his pocket.  At the end of his stay in Oklahoma City, the generosity of Oklahomans thankful for the work he was doing, the firefighter left with the same $20 in his pocket. "

Mrs. Porter introduced our first person speaker as the story of a survivor, geologist, Mr. Ed Eckenstein.  We will never forget his analogy of rocks and backpacks!

To end the day, turning STEM into STEAMS2 (adding the arts, service and spirituality to our day), Daniela, helped by Mrs. Kirk(Quilter) and Mrs. Clay (Zen Music), asked participants to create a quilt patch relating their personal roots and fruits of service, their experience at the museum and the survivor tree.  Participants viewed a quilt that began at MLK Day 2005 and ended in 2010 as an example, but not necessary a model.  The sample quilt resides at the Casady archives.  Mrs. Kirk motivated participants to use their personal creativity since Daniela stated that a tree was something Casady freshmen had just done as an English class reflective piece.  

Daniela stated that the finished quilt will have a home at a children place where it can inspire to recommit to the Oklahoma standard, kindness, compassion and service.  Mrs. Kirk will be our quilt making facilitator.  She will come to Casady YAC and Youth LEAD OKC meetings for that purpose.

To end the day, Mrs. Clay asked participants to leave on a post-it note what the impact of the day at the museum had been on them and the community served?  What did they learned?/ How were they changed by this experience?/ How this time at the museum could help them to make a difference in the community?

Cost of the project:
Lunch, snacks, quilt supplies, museum tickets ($12 per person), transportation, time