We have traveled over 10,000 miles this week. We have greeted 5 of our 6 schools, been with 10 classrooms, and completed two projects. Outside under night skies, we met with a family and are closer to another scholarship recipient starting school for the first time as he nears his 7th birthday. We have loved nearly every moment, and we are thankful it is Friday. We are due for some rest.

We took a set of Family Circles from Mrs. Petty’s students at Riverside Middle School to RC Mixed today. We prepared the round circles that would act as the foundation for this project last night – a homework project carried out and spread across the living room floor. We entered the classroom and drew a quick picture for each step involved in the complicated folding and cutting process. The students jumped quickly to the task, mimicking Erin through each phase – even holding their work high up in the air as she attempted to demonstrate so that everyone in the fully-loaded room could see. The students cut – some with a great deal of apprehension – and they were quick to get results. Smiles spread across their faces as collections of paper dolls, holding hands, appeared in a variety of colors. Scraps of paper landed across the floor and dappled the bland grey cement with shapes of red, purple, green, and orange.

Students at Ogelthorpe Charter School and Vail Mountain School took One World, Many Stories literally, using the world and maps to express their stories. As students put the pieces of VMS map collage puzzle together, we notice how much of world is represented by these students, as letters reflect origins in Korea, Mexico, Costa Rica, Ireland, US, Ghana, Benin and the Congo to name a few. The class worked in several small groups, creating masterpieces of their own, and intimate stories of their families and traditions. Collaboration was strong.

Games are played for the afternoon on most campuses, and they are in full swing in every area of the enclosed schoolyard when we arrive at Prince of Peace. As a new class files in, sweating and some in uniform, they trade the excitement and cheering of games for awed silence as they unrolled scrolls with letters from Red Sandstone Elementary School. They needed little assistance in reading, although the mountain landscapes with snow and skiing met quizzical eyes. They quickly got to work on unveiling stories of their own inner and outer landscapes. We love strolling through the small isles observing such reverent focus. One student walked student-to-student with the class photo, allowing them to identify via the material the scrolls were wrapped in, which one was their friend. They proudly looked for a place to hang the photo in the classroom, deciding on front of the room, where they can be reminded of their connections a world away.