Ben Moore who along with Ali Trianfo participated in our asset-mapping project this summer wrote the following. Ben was asked if he would summarize his experience working on this project. Ben from Dallas, Texas and Ali from the Columbus area are both entering their junior year’s at Xavier and neither had been to Northside before undertaking this project. Their work has provided a valuable resource to the Northside Learns Committee which will begin meeting again in late September to determine how to best use the information and resources Ali and Ben uncovered and build upon their good work. Meanwhile, if you have questions about Northside Learns or would like to be added to the resource list please contact Sue Wilke, NCC Education Committee Chair at firstname.lastname@example.org.
My name is Ben Moore, and my fellow Xavier student, Ali Trianfo, and I, have been engaging in a community learning project called Northside Learns this summer. Ali and I worked for the Community Building Institute at Xavier University, and Cincinnati Public Schools funded this project. Northside Learns is an initiative sponsored by the Northside Community Council’s Education Committee that grew out of a year long series of community conversations. The Northside Community Council education initiative is dedicated to connecting the three local elementary schools – Chase Elementary, Parker Woods Montessori, and St. Boniface School – with the many assets Northside has to offer. However, the mission and vision of Northside Learns is broader than just the three schools. The ultimate goal is to make the community of Northside a larger community learning center with the schools as the hubs. Throughout the summer, we canvassed the Northside community and pitched our project to local businesses, non-profits, and community-engaged individuals in an effort to increase collaboration and pull resources between the neighborhood assets.
Our initial goal for this education initiative is to enrich the elementary students’ education by presenting them with learning opportunities in the neighborhood that may be missed in a traditional classroom setting or at home. Having not been familiar with Northside before the start of the project, we were surprised and encouraged by the dedication and strong sense of community throughout Northside’s residents, business owners, and community leaders. Our success this summer is due largely to the overwhelming support and community conscious present in Northside, especially the Northside Learns Committee made up of the three schools, Northside Community Council Education Committee, Word Play, Happen, Inc. and CAIN.
As we dove head first in the community over the past few months, we gained great appreciation for the unique and vibrant community of Northside. The tremendous response from Northsiders wanting to be engaged in our students’ education is exactly what our communities – in Northside and across Cincinnati – need to be centers for sustainable, cohesive learning.