At the Arts Academy in Canton City School District, TomTod Adventure Curator, Patrick, set out with his cohort to discover the assets and challenges of their community. Students noticed a mural that was incomplete and had the idea to complete a project around it. As they got curious about their own school community, one of their classmates began letting her voice and perspective be heard.
Brianna, a student at Arts Academy in Canton and in Patrick’s cohort of What If 101, is blind. Brianna often speaks about her experience as a blind student to her classmates, and while working together to figure out what to do with this mural, they had an idea. If the mural is just a painting, then Brianna wouldn’t be able to enjoy it. And Brianna isn’t the only blind person in Canton. What if we made a mural that engaged all five senses instead of only sight?
With this idea in mind, they began working on a mural that included elements that engaged sight, sound, touch, taste, and smell.
Because of Covid-19, students did not get to finish their project as a class. But! A small group from the class including Olivia, Josie, Ariana and several more are continuing the project through What If You Could.
When middle schoolers find something they love and an opportunity to share it with the community, they make it happen!
Several What If 101 students from last spring quickly discovered and bonded over their mutual love of the video game Fortnite. When it came time to think of an idea for their community, they remembered that some local colleges have E-sports leagues. E-sports takes the simple concept of playing video games and bumps it up a notch. As a way to organize playing video games as a team, e-sports can be a valuable outlet for students, especially those who may not be involved in other sports or clubs, to learn those beneficial soft skills that extracurriculars teach us like teamwork, communication, and confidence.
This idea was unfortunately halted due to the pandemic, but middle schoolers have FORTitude! Anthony, Jessica, Eric, and the rest of the group heard that the Plain Parks Department was looking for safe, virtual programming to offer during the pandemic. They are now partnering with Plain Parks to make e-sports an option for the entire community putting collaboration, critical thinking, and creativity into motion for the common good!
They hope to launch a tournament this winter!
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