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Project 012: Wide World Partners

For Project 012, we asked how you would improve the schools in your neighborhood. Tereza Coraggio sent this update from sunny Santa Cruz where she's working to bridge that age-old rift between public and private school kids:"In Santa Cruz, CA, I'm networking together students from the public, private, and charter high schools to raise money and awareness for global issues. Although we're still very much in the formative phase, here are some of the plans in process:-Students are taking culinary classes this year to bake goods to sell for charity at the farmers' markets.-A couple of urban garden sites are possibilities for lawn-to-food projects, with proceeds to Via Campesina.-Instead of the science fair, we're promoting a social entrepreneur fair with prize money to make the ideas happen.-Imported products to sell include silk scarves made by landmine victims in Laos, dolls made by Vietnamese street kids, purses and vests made from recycled saris that supplement farmer income in India, and scarab-wing earrings. Profits (with matching funds) would go to related charities.-An interschool student dramatization of Howard Zinn's Voices of a People's History could be performed in U.S. History classes...My concept has been that students shouldn't just compete against each other in sports and SAT scores. Joining in a common cause is a way to celebrate our strengths rather than emphasizing our differences. I'm increasingly skeptical of college as the single-minded goal of a secondary education. For the same amount of money, we parents could recreate good jobs in local industry and agriculture, and train our kids in practical skills. Rather than trade schools for dummies, a 'real world' education could make them able to clean, cook, grow, fix, sew, make, and maintain, along with learning to think and discern true information from false. ...During the four years normally squandered on college, they could intern with human rights lawyers, green-collar workers, NGO's, or start their own fair trade business. Rather than saddling them with student loans and new mortgages, we could build our own homes into extended family complexes and community centers. In this way, we could extend the benefit of financial security to the whole next generation, at home and abroad, not just to our own kids.Thanks for the invitation to share my ideas,Tereza Coraggio"

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