Teams of teachers in FWSU recently competed for six $1,000 mini-grants funded by the Bay and Paul Foundation in an innovative event called Launch FWSU.
Teams of teachers pitched their ideas before a panel of distinguished guests seeking support for project startup. Proposals needed to be aligned with the FWSU Action Plan and meet student needs in creative ways. GEMS staff members Nancy Mildrum, Nancy Volatile-Wood, Melissa Fisher, and JoAnn Harvey are members of one of the teams awarded funding for their exciting plan to create a labyrinth.
Walking a labyrinth is a time-honored tradition across cultures. This team believes walking the labyrinth will impact the emotional and social well-being of our students, staff, and community in positive ways. The labyrinth will be constructed by students and staff. They will engage in thoughtful planning to create a lasting structure. Students in grades four through eight are involved from conception to completion of the structure. In the first few meetings, students were tasked with bringing any labyrinth drawings and were taught different ways of drawing labyrinths. The next step is to build a prototype of the labyrinth that will be created.
The following is an outline of what the next steps will be:
This project will accomplish the following:
- Work closely with grounds and maintenance personnel at GEMS to create an in-ground labyrinth that is aesthetically pleasing and easy to maintain
- Work with students and school personnel learning about mindfulness and the connection between labyrinths and mindfulness
- Work with students and school personnel learning about the design of labyrinths and how they have been constructed in other school settings
- Work with students and school personnel developing materials in the history of labyrinths around the world
- Develop a team of students who will work directly on this project, students in grades 4-8 with an interest in participating will be formed based on student interest, aptitude, and need
- Work with students and school staff in designing the plan and acquiring the materials
- Create labyrinth prototypes to allow for experience of building on a small-scale
- Work closely with community members who can assist in this project
- Establish a workable timeline for completion
- Develop educational history of labyrinths and their use over time to be used both on the site plaque and in educational materials
- Plan a school-wide opening celebration upon completion
We are excited to see the final project emerge this spring!
Stay tuned to learn more about the other exciting proposals which were awarded funding at Launch FWSU. We grateful for the generous grant from Bay and Paul Foundation to support innovation and flexible learning in all our schools.