The Carlisle Mosquito Online

Friday, November 20, 2009

Regional School Committee serenaded by Pep Band, okays student trips

The Concord-Carlisle Regional School Committee (RSC) was the big winner at the meeting on November 10. As the room came to order, 70 students filed in, filling the perimeter of the room. It was the Concord-Carlisle High School (CCHS) Pep Band, coming to thank the RSC for their support. Under the direction of Band Director Alfred Dentino, they played the school fight song and “Buttercup” to the delight of all present.

Afterward, Dentino explained the importance of traditions. For some years now, the Pep Band has come out one night to give performances to special people, “real big supporters of our band and our kids.” He said they had just finished playing on the lawn of Coach Dickie Kerr’s home and there were “three targets of opportunity” for the evening. “We wanted to show you the product of your work. This is the very, very best we have to offer.” He encouraged everyone to sit with the Pep Band during a Friday night football game to see school spirit at CCHS in 2009. Band President Chris Marks presented a bouquet to Superintendent Diana Rigby.

Jan McGinn said “We’ve sat at this table on more than one occasion surrounded by people way less friendly than you. I will thank you for being here. I’m incredibly touched by this… I hope you remember you did things like this in your community.”

Junior State travels

Junior State, a co-curricular club, is a political debating team. “It is, on the national level, the largest student-run organization in the country,” said CCHS history teacher Johanna Glazer ,the advisor to Junior State for 14 years. Forty to 50 students are involved. CCHS senior Katie Miller, who is both student senate representative to the RSC and a member of Junior State, explained that the club focuses on current issues and matters of policy. Students hone their skills in public speaking, with teamwork and sense of community. “It’s a great organization,” she said. Glazer came before the RSC to seek permission for three trips this year, one in Massachusetts, one to Connecticut and one to Washington, DC. Permission was granted for all three.

Trip to San Marcos, Nicaragua

CCHS Spanish teacher Beatriz Desloges was granted permission to establish a two-week-long community service/immersion program with sister city San Marcos, Nicaragua. “I think it’s a unique trip that will provide tremendous exposure to the developing world,” said CCHS Principal Peter Badalament. Students will be actively participating in community service projects which may involve schools, orphanages, churches and/or community centers, compared to a more typical student tour of Europe.

The anticipated cost is $1,000 per student. Badalament pointed out that this amount was significantly lower than many of the other trips to foreign countries. CCHS students are expected to stay with host families. This will give them the opportunity to live in and learn about the Nicaraguan culture and practice and improve their Spanish skills.

Desloges said, “This program is extremely dear to my heart . . . It’s a wonderful opportunity for our students to see the less fortunate . . . The program would make our students global citizens.” She expects the trip to start right after school lets out in June, 2010. Desloges left the day after the RSC meeting to go to San Marcos to meet with adult leaders there, organize the program and meet with host families. Upon her return, she will start to recruit participants for the program. She hopes to take 14 to 22 students to San Marcos.

Desloges’ trip will be sponsored by the Sister Cities Committee, which fosters peace, mutual understanding and socioeconomic development in Nicaragua. The committee was established in 1986 by the Town of Concord as part of the Concord-Carlisle Human Rights Council. Over the last two decades, San Marcos has benefited from humanitarian aid sent by Concord, including a fully equipped dental clinic, a medical vehicle, medicines and medical supplies, school desks, computers, sports equipment and funds for educational scholarships, capital improvements and a micro-bank.

Global Literacy Certificate

CCHS Senior Katie Miller said she was applying for a Global Literacy Certificate (GLC) and the trip to San Marcos will provide an opportunity to work in a different culture and improve her language skills.

The Global Literacy Certificate Program is new at CCHS. The program is designed to foster students’ global awareness and provide CCHS graduates with essential skills for participating in and contributing to an increasingly globalized society. Objectives are to think globally, communicate effectively and contribute responsibly. Students are expected to gain appreciation for other world cultures, view issues with a global perspective, build relationships with people from other cultures and demonstrate respect, open-mindedness and embrace multiple perspectives.

To earn the certificate, students must have an international experience that challenges them to connect and interact with people from a different culture. They must donate 30 hours of community service towards the GLC. (See details at: Click on: Global Literacy Program.) Miller said, “[This program] is an excellent way to do it.”

At the end of the presentation, RSC member Jan McGinn told Desloges, “I’ve sat at this table a long time and listened to travel ideas. This is very exciting. You should be commended for the opportunity you are giving these students.” ∆

© 2009 The Carlisle Mosquito