Upper School Book Day 2019: Choice, Change
Marie Campione (lk)
The annual Saint Edward’s Upper School Book Day is scheduled for April 4, 2019. This day is intended as an Upper School student conference in the spirit of our school’s Liberal Arts tradition and with the purpose of creating empathy and a platform for respectful debate. Many of our students have not had the opportunity to participate in a conference format and this event will bring this possibility to fruition. The inspiration for this event comes from The Horace Mann School of New York, which hosts student conferences annually, and from the Nigerian author Chimananda Ngozi Adichie, who said, “When we reject the single story, when we realize that there is never a single story about any place, we regain a kind of paradise.” Based on that inspiration and the success of last year’s conference, this year’s “Choice. Change.” student conference is a culmination of shared ideas and a list of potential topics created over the course of this school year by a diverse group of volunteers, students and teachers. Our students have expressed a strong interest in exploring and discussing topics such as environmental awareness, personal responsibility and transformation, or stories of overcoming obstacles and assimilation.
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[please continue below] To facilitate our discussions, we have invited guests including an author, a poet, a photographer, a counselor, a politician, a journalist, educators, and students. Our opening ceremony will include screening of a documentary, listening to our keynote speaker, former Denver mayor Guillermo Vidal, and a session of questions and answers. Students will choose three of fifteen sessions offered to attend where they will engage in meaningful conversations about various subjects. Students are encouraged to bring questions, opinions and concerns to each session and will have the ability to communicate with experts, faculty and fellow students. Students in the Junior and Senior English classes prepared the “Rules for Engagement” that will be used to ensure a respectful and caring environment throughout the conference. No particular worldview will be promoted and ideas will flow freely and openly. The conference format will provide the chance for students to interact with other students outside of their grade and class schedule.
We are hoping that this day will bring positive and new experiences for our Saint Edward’s students. Note: This is a regular part of the curriculum, and attendance is expected.