Monday, February 1, 2021

AEC students pay tribute to the new admin

Students at the Alternative Education Center, Odessa, TX, paid tribute to the new administration by doing academic activities that celebrated President Joseph Robinette Biden, Jr.'s inauguration, together with Vice President Kamala Devi Harris, on January 20, 2021, in Washington, D.C. Under the leadership of English Department Head Velma Nunez, AEC students examined the U.S. National Youth Poet Laureate Amanda Gorman's poem, “The Hill We Climb,” delivered during the inauguration. Gorman’s poem complemented Biden’s inaugural address and was written to reflect on America's history and the future it stands for. Students answered the big question about how they thought Biden's speech signaled a change from the previous administration. They then analyzed the message, goal, meaning, tone, and impact of Gorman's inaugural poem and draw connections between the moment in history, the poet’s message, and students' own lives. 

English Language Arts Teacher Pamela Ryan supplemented the activity by having the students researched prior inaugural addresses after watching the live streaming of Biden's inaugural address. Students discussed how and why Ronald Reagan's inaugural address changed where the previous addresses were given.  Since Reagan's inauguration, the inaugural address has been held with the National Mall and the Lincoln Memorial in distant sight.

In mathematics classes, students worked on mathematics problems embedded in a picture puzzle activity using Biden's and Harris's coloring images. Students organized the puzzle, solved the problem from each piece, and then colored the picture formed. Sidebar conversations revolved around supporting the new administration despite differences in opinions or views. Before the national election, AEC students were also engaged in a mock election for the presidency through Social Studies Department Head James Porter's leadership. The mock election held in the school cafeteria allowed the students to experience exercising suffrage and having their voices heard. 

All these activities before and after the national election and the president's inauguration gave AEC students avenues to discuss and reflect on their observations about the importance of national unity in spite of America's unending political divide. They were able to express their own political views and learn to be understanding of others' views. Such experiences led AEC students to more political awareness and involvement that helped promote the global sustainable development goal number 16: peace, justice, and strong institutions.