Workshops and Presenters 2013

Session #1

10:45 – 12:00 pm

Engaging Student Voice

This experiential workshop will demonstrate an activity that facilitates conversation, writing and reflection about social issues in the community. The Photo Reflection activity from Need in Deed’s My Voice framework has the power to engage students on issues that affect their own lives. Facilitators will lead a discussion on the power of engaging student voice in the process of issue selection and share strategies for curriculum integration that engages students’ real-life concerns into the curriculum. Participants will leave with materials needed for conducting the lesson in their own classrooms.

Founded in 1987, Need In Deed’s mission has been to prepare youth for taking on civic responsibility. Working in 3rd to 8th grade classrooms, we provide professional development to help teachers learn and implement our My Voice service-learning framework. We also serve as the hub for a wide variety of nonprofits and community groups to engage deeply in classrooms by serving as experts and advisors for students’ projects.  The workshop’s presenters, Kyra Atterbury and Pam Prell, are Program Managers at Need in Deed. 

Linguistic Diversity as a Teaching Tool

Intended for teachers of all grade levels and subjects, this workshop grows out of the conversations of the Linguistic Bias Inquiry to Action Group.  We will discuss the interactions between different dialects and languages, and how these affect the classroom environment and student performance.  Our dialogue will include discussion of the language of power, registers of English, and code-switching.  The workshop will include interactive activities aimed at enhancing student and teacher understandings of how these issues affect all of us, both in the classroom and the world at large.  All participants will receive a toolkit that contains resources and lesson plans that can be adapted to any classroom.

Facilitators:  Carolena Lescano, Erica Darken, Juan Gabriel Sánchez, Kacie King, Meagan Ingerson, Sania Mirzanschall, Sarah Gish-Kraus, Sheila Myers, and Wilma de Soto, all of the Linguistic Bias Against Students of Color ItAG.


Organizing to Dismantle the School-to-Prison Pipeline

This workshop will explore what the school-to-prison pipeline looks like in Philadelphia and how it impacts the lives of young people all over the city. Organizers from the Youth Art & Self-empowerment Project will break down the school-to-prison pipeline through an interactive theater activity, create space for educators and young people to think together about ways to engage with and challenge the school-to-prison pipeline in their own classrooms and daily lives, and provide participants with concrete tools for challenging the systems that target young people and funnel them into the prison system.

The Youth Art & Self-empowerment Project (YASP) is a youth-led organization working to end the practice of trying young people as adults in Pennsylvania. YASP organizers lead workshops at schools around Philadelphia that aim to empower young people to dismantle the school-to-prison pipeline and take control of their own destinies.  Facilitators:  Joshua Glenn, Jamie “J-Roc” Carroll, Tyderia “Tot” Metz, Romeeka Williams, Sarah Morris

Philadelphia Youth Poetry Movement

This workshop will facilitate a vibrant discussion about empowering and celebrating student voice. Along with some of his young poets, Matt Kay will share some of the activities that have worked for him both inside and outside of the classroom.

Matthew Kay is the Slam League Coordinator for the Philly Youth Poetry Movement and an English and Drama Teacher at Science Leadership Academy.

Safe Space is Not Optional: How to Support LGBTQ Youth and Youth Allies

This interactive and engaging workshop is designed and facilitated by high school W.E.R.Q.* interns at the Attic Youth Center.  We will speak from our unique youth perspective and are excited to collaborate with you.  This workshop will introduce you to our LEARN Toolkit and equip you with skills and resources to support the creation of safe spaces for LGBTQ identifying youth and those who are their allies. Working in collaboration with the Bryson Institute we have spent the year learning about facilitation and workshop best practices. Looking forward to working together!

*Work & Education Readiness for Queer Youth

Celebrating our 20th year, The Attic Youth Center is Philadelphia’s only community center serving LGBTQ youth.  We create opportunities for LGBTQ youth to develop into healthy, independent, civic-minded adults within a safe and supportive community, and we promote the acceptance of LGBTQ youth in society.

Restorative Practices:  A Tool For Assessment and Implementation

Restorative Practices provide an alternative to punitive models of discipline by focusing on building community, restoring relationships, and repairing harm. Many of us recognize the need for such an alternative, but how do we actually make it happen in our schools and classrooms? What are the pro-active elements of restorative practices? How do we facilitate an effective restorative conversation/conference? How do we know if it worked? In this workshop, we will explore practical approaches to implementing restorative practices. Participants will use a rubric to self-assess restorative practices in their own settings; they will identify areas for growth and share strengths and strategies with each other.

Nataliya Braginsky is a teacher at El Centro de Estudiantes, an alternative high school in Kensington.  She also has experience working in contexts such as middle schools, special education departments, and after school programs. Sarah Burgess taught high school social studies and is currently an administrator at YouthBuild Philadelphia, an alternative school for older students.  Her school approaches discipline using restorative practices.  Sarah and Nataliya began their collaboration through participation in an Inquiry to Action Group organized by TAG Philly on the topic of restorative practices.

Social Justice Unionism

In cities across the country, a trend is emerging to transform teachers unions from the classic “service provider” model to a “social justice unionism” approach.  But just what does this concept mean, and what does this transformation entail?  Join members of the Social Justice Unionism ItAG as we share the history, lessons, and strategies we’ve studied about progressive teacher unionism.  This workshop is especially important today, as we face an aggressive attack on public education and workers’ rights by corporate education reformers.  It is time to truly make real the idea that “teachers’ working conditions = students’ learning conditions” – through our organizing and action moving forward.  Join us for this timely conversation.

Led by members of the Social Justice Unionism Inquiry to Action Group.


Session #2

1:00 – 2:15pm

Breaking Down Young People’s Oppression in the Classroom 

The cycle of oppression begins with stereotypes. How do we stop stereotypes and, ultimately, oppression from playing out in the classroom?  How can students and teachers build better relationships and find common ground? This workshop will break down young people’s oppression and the impacts it has on both students and teachers.

The facilitators will be two high school students who are members of the Philadelphia Student Union. The Philadelphia Student Union exists to build the power of young people to demand a high quality education in the Philadelphia public school system.

Engaging in Ethnographic Research with Students in Philadelphia’s Chinatown Neighborhood: Understanding Who We Are and Who is Around Us

The Folk Arts-Cultural Treasures Charter School (FACTS) is a K-8 school located in the Chinatown neighborhood of Philadelphia, PA. Ethnographic research is used to help deepen students’ understandings of themselves and the local community, including community investigations and oral history projects. Teachers will present a 4th grade Neighborhood Investigation, and invite participants into a discussion about methods for engaging students in local research and local activism in meaningful and authentic ways that lead to deeper understandings of themselves and others.

Erin Whitney is a part-time Literacy Coach at FACTS and a full-time Doctoral Student in Education in the Reading/Writing/ Literacy program at UPenn. Annie Huynh is an educator at FACTS.  She collaborates with Special Education and ESL teachers to meet the needs of diverse learners and heads the Anti-Bias Education Committee.

Implementing Project Based Learning in Your Classroom

Most schools today still rely on testing as their main form of assessment–but this method rarely engages students, or leaves them with any lasting understanding of what was tested. With Project based learning (PBL), students respond to authentic problems and prompts, building complete products instead of just answering questions. Good PBL is more than just a book report or poster — it asks students to engage with content and skill acquisition through every step of their learning. This workshop will explore the theories and structures behind successful PBL, and also act as a crash course for participants to brainstorm ideas for at least one project-based unit for their own classroom. Teachers of all subject areas and experience levels welcome!

Chris Angelini and Jaimie Stevenson were members of an Inquiry to Action Group focused on Project Based Learning.  Chris has taught English at the Career and Academic Development Institute, one of the School District’s alternative schools for over-aged and under-credited students, for the last four years. Jaimie Stevenson uses Project Based Learning methods in her 9th grade World History and 10th grade African American History classes at Northeast High School, where she is a yearlong student teacher and a candidate for the M.S.Ed. in Secondary Education at the University of Pennsylvania.

Resisting Criminalization and Growing Fairness in our Schools

At Lyons Community School in Brooklyn, NY, staff and students are moving in incremental ways to increase the restorative practices strategies we use across the school. Peer Mediation, Justice Panel and use of Dean Interns and a wide range of Circles are some of the alternatives for students who violate school disciplinary codes. For example, Justice Panel is composed of 12 volunteer students that change from week-to-week, and every new panel of students receives training on how to critically engage with the cases that their peers bring to the hearings. Come learn about these practices from students and the founding principal of Lyons, and participate in a conversation about the history of school discipline and the current political context of the school-to-prison pipeline. Participants will learn more about Teachers Unite’s Growing Fairness resource for school communities as well as the Dignity in Schools Campaign to end student pushout and the criminalization of youth of color locally and across the country. This workshop is sponsored by Teachers Unite. 

Teachers Unite is an independent membership organization of public school educators supporting collaboration between parents, youth and educators fighting for social justice..

Servant Leadership & An Evolving Freedom School Movement

An intergenerational session and conversation lead by students and attended by students and adults that focuses on the history of movements of change and advocacy. The session goal is to engage participants in a dialogue around change movements. Additionally, the session will discuss how to create a servant leadership philosophy.

Philadelphia Freedom Schools prides itself on being a social action organization with the philosophy of Servant Leadership. Its strives to increase and engage young people’s propensity to become critical and thoughtful about the world they build and live.

Using Interviewing and Storytelling Practices for Social Change in Education

Movements begin with the telling of untold stories.


In fighting today’s battles, we must confront a media system that seeks to divide our communities and struggles.  To do this requires powerful communications strategies that unite poor and working people to project a shared vision for the future.  This workshop will use this framework to provide an introduction to the practice of interviewing and storytelling.  We’ll also discuss ways to apply these storytelling practices in using social media.

Over the last seven years, Media Mobilizing Project has documented the impact of a widening gap between rich and poor throughout our region, building a media and communications infrastructure that can represent and fight for all people.

The Dropout Crisis: What does it cost us all?

In this workshop we look the dropout crisis in Philadelphia and beyond from a number of angles.  Who is dropping out and why? What does it cost an individual financially, mentally, and emotionally, to leave school before graduation? What price does the society pay? How does inequality education contribute to the problem? What are the solutions, big and small, that can begin to make a change? Come and explore this issue with the Youth Action Scholars and lend your voice to the conversation!

The Youth Action Scholars is one of the programs offered at the University Community Collaborative at Temple University.  The Scholars are a group of passionate and committed high school students who select an issue or topic each year they want to learn more about and educate others on.  They build a workshop around that issue, and take it into the community to share what they have learned and spark discussion and action.

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