TELLURIDE – Have you ever contemplated how lack of access to fresh drinking water could adversely affect a child’s right to education, or how the clothes you wear were made by workers who were deprived of their basic human rights?
These are just two topics explored over the 2013-2014 school year by students in the Telluride Academy Global Citizen Project, a once-a-week after-school program aimed at educating Telluride middle school students about important global issues.
“Some of the issues we discuss are difficult,” said Ashley Smith, one of the project’s two instructors. The program’s goal “is to provide our students with the facts, then guide them throughout the discussion in such a way that allows them to explore the complexity that exists surrounding many important social and political issues.”
The deprivation of global citizens’ basic human rights emerged as a major topic at the project’s once-a-week meetings held, Fridays after school, at the Stronghouse Studios, on S. Fir St.
“Every time we met, we had meaningful discussions about ‘real’ issues,” said instructor Josh Hordoff, which organizers Ellen Geldbaugh and Pia Gedeon hope to see implemented next year in Telluride Middle School and in the Mountain School. “There is an enormous amount of respect within our group for each individual’s opinion,” he added.
The Global Citizens Project is a junior version of the Telluride Academy’s popular Making Movies That Matter documentary filmmaking course; its eight middle-school participants wrap up the year by participating this weekend in a tailored version of the longstanding Mountainfilm program, Making Movies That Matter, for students ages 13 and up (the younger Global Citizens students will “shadow” the older students participating in the Mountainfilm program).
“We couldn’t think of a better way to celebrate the work we have done this year,” said Smith. “The folks at Mountainfilm have helped put together a great program for us.”
For more information, please visit tellurideacademy.org.