PRESS RELEASE 9/20/14

Press Release in PDF   Press Release in Word

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

 

Contact: JoAnn Groh or Santo Nicotera, Co-Directors

School:  PFFS-D 520-352-0057; PFFS-U 520-624-7552

Cell: Groh 520-360-5113; Nicotera 520-906-5157

Email:  jgroh@paulofreireschool.org; snicotera@paulofreireschool.org;

 

TWO TUCSON MIDDLE SCHOOLS PROVIDE INNOVATIVE INTERSESSION PROGRAM

Paulo Freire Freedom School – University (PFFS-U) and Paulo Freire Freedom School – Downtown (PFFS-D) are preparing for their Fall 2014 Intersession week which will take place September 29-October 3.  Intersession is a bi-annual program at both schools where teachers spend 4 consecutive days leading students through an intensive interdisciplinary, place-based learning experience.  Some of the Intersession experiences involve overnight, out of town travel; all have an experiential component with students visiting a variety of community organizations.

The Fall 2014 Intersession experiences are:

Paulo Freire Freedom School – University

Bizarre Foods Tucson – Just as beauty lies in the eyes of the beholder, bizarre is encrypted in the culture of the consumer!  In this delicious intersession, we will use all of our senses to collect evidence and challenge our current notions of what makes food “bizarre.”  Without leaving the Tucson grid, we will embark on an international scavenger hunt of specialty and ethnic markets and restaurants.  We will devour diverse delicacies from durian to dukkah along with a taste of Tarascan Mexican Tohono O’Odham specialties, Tucson tamales, tacos, and more.  Selected readings, movies, and episodes of Bizarre Foods with Andrew Zimmerman will guide our inquiry and help us gain perspective on how environmental, historical, and socioeconomic realities influence how and what we choose to eat.  You will also have the chance to express your own wild and wonderful tastes in the kitchen and publish a recipe of choice in our very own Bizarre Foods PFFS cookbook!

Conscious Hip Hop & Poetry Workshop – Wake up, Hip Hop, Wake UP!  Are you awake… Are you conscious?  Or are you sleep walking through a world of belittling lyrics and negativity? Aren’t you tired of hearing the same radio played music with messages of misogyny, oppression, and mistreatment of others? Let’s lift each other up; That’s Hip Hop, man.  In this intersession workshop we will focus on the history of socially, emotionally, educationally conscious Hip-Hop. We will focus on writing techniques, develop personas as artists, and challenge ourselves by not adhering to the damaging entity that popular Hip-Hop has become. We need to get back to the positive, expressive roots of Hip-Hop and form a new generation of Hip-Hop Heads and poets united

It is… Rocket Science! – Countdown has begun on this adventure to explore what rockets are, how they work, and where they can take us. Join me as we tour some of the famous rockets in the Tucson area, and try our hand at launching various designs propelled by water, air, even solid fuel.  Newtonian physics at its greatest combined with investigations into new understandings and possibilities. Blast off!

Mosaic Mash-up – Take a look around Tucson, have you ever seen a mosaic, made up of tile or glass or maybe even fabric?  Join me on this adventure to discover the beauty and patterns of mosaics.  Historically, mosaics decorated castles and temples and the patterns were detailed and mathematical.   We will look at mosaics of the past along with current ones in our community.  Not only that, we will create our own beautiful mosaics with glass and tile or maybe fabric! And… we will complete the week with designing a mosaic for the walls of PFFS

Tucson Urban Outdoor Adventures – Love the outdoors?  Want to have an adventure?  All that you need for adventure and fun is within your reach.  Put away your technology.  Leave the confines of your indoor spaces.  Get outside and explore what city life has to offer.   Explore the city by bike and foot.  Experience geocaching and city scavenger hunts.  Track and map where you go for others to follow in your footsteps.  Explore the possibilities for adventure in cities around the country.  Become and “Urban Explorer” and recognize the City of Tucson as the adventuring opportunity it is, right here in our own backyard.

Sky School – Are you an explorer? An inquirer? An investigator? Curious about the hows and whys of this world?? This is the intersession to take your questions and discoveries to the next level! We will start our journey by heading out of Tucson and going to the highest peak of our closest sky islands, Mt. Lemmon in the Santa Catalinas. We will spend four days and three nights there, exploring ecosystems by day and staying in dorms at night. While exploring, we will also be observing our local environments with graduate students from the UA, who will support us as we develop our very own scientific inquiry projects. Over the course of our three days, we will gather and analyze data to help us answer our scientific queries, and will then present our findings the last evening of our stay on Mt. Lemmon. So gather all of your observational and investigative skills to become a scientific explorer of the Catalina peaks!

 

Paulo Freire Freedom School – Downtown 

Music History and Performance – Learn about the history of music with a trip to the Musical Instrument Museum in Phoenix.  Listen to and learn about American Roots Music from Conjunto/Tejano music of the Southwest, traditional Appalachian Ballads and Blues of the South, and the birth of Jazz in New Orleans.  Make your own musical instruments and use them to create and perform music, culminating in a musical performance and recording of your work at the end of the week.

Eat With Your Hands – When it comes to food, is Safeway the only option?  Heck no!  In this intersession, we will explore alternative ways people access food, getting our hands as dirty as possible in the process.  We will discover (and contribute to) the sweat, love, and creativity that go into feeding our community from farms to food banks, and we’ll reflect on the beauty of that process.  If food, art, good people, and a little manual labor get you going, then this intersession is for you!

The Law! – Experience a whirlwind survey of what it is like to practice law.  Talk with lawyers about their practice.  Attend real life trials at the courthouse.  Watch famous movie trial scenes and then practice your own skills in a mock trial.  Argue freedom of speech cases.  Visit with law students at the UofA Law School.  Read 12 Angry Men, a fabulous play about what it is like to be on a jury.

Sky School – Are you an explorer? An inquirer? An investigator? Curious about the hows and whys of this world?? This is the intersession to take your questions and discoveries to the next level! We will start our journey by heading out of Tucson and going to the highest peak of our closest sky islands, Mt. Lemmon in the Santa Catalinas. We will spend four days and three nights there, exploring ecosystems by day and staying in dorms at night. While exploring, we will also be observing our local environments with graduate students from the UA, who will support us as we develop our very own scientific inquiry projects. Over the course of our three days, we will gather and analyze data to help us answer our scientific queries, and will then present our findings the last evening of our stay on Mt. Lemmon. So gather all of your observational and investigative skills to become a scientific explorer of the Catalina peaks!

 

The rationale for exposing students to learning outside the classroom walls lies in the research showing that building background knowledge significantly helps students in their academic studies and that helping students make connections between what they are learning in classroom with the larger world motivates students to want to learn. http://aim.cast.org/learn/historyarchive/backgroundpapers/background_knowledge

An added benefit of the Intersession program is that students are often placed in sessions without their closest friends and inevitably they forge new strong relationships.  “The program is a clique-buster for us.  The student body feels significantly different after Intersession – it becomes a much more unified and cohesive community” says Co-Director, JoAnn Groh.

PFFS-University is a small, Tucson middle school located a mile from UA on University Blvd – currently in its 10th year of operation.  It has a curricular focus on social justice and environmental sustainability and believes in interdisciplinary, project-based, real world learning.   At a time when so many schools are narrowing their curriculum to focus on preparation for standardize tests, we are proud to have a curricula inside and outside the classroom that is providing our students with 21st century learning skills.  PFFS recently received an “A” rating from the Arizona Department of Education.  See www.paulofreireschool.org/university/.   PFFS-Downtown is a new middle school launched just this year in downtown Tucson on Pennington St.  PFFS-D uses the same successful strategies implemented at PFFS-U but with a completely redesigned delivery of interdisciplinary, problem-based, ‘full immersion’ STEM curricula.  See www.paulofreireschool.org/downtown/.

Both schools are public charter schools authorized by the Arizona State Board for Charter Schools.

Intersession week happens twice a year in the Fall and in the Spring.  Spring 2015 Intersession is scheduled for March 9-13.