WMS students present Resilience Cafe May 16-17

Grand Junction, CO – West Middle School eighth-graders have spent weeks preparing three-minute speeches that touch on a personal life event that forced them to be resilient and tying that experience to a time when other people’s resilience inspired them. Students will share their messages with the public at an event called Resilience Café from 5 to 8 p.m. May 16 and 17, 2017, at Dominguez Hall on the Colorado Mesa University campus.

Approximately 140 students will participate in Resilience Café, with half of the students presenting on May 16 and the other half presenting on May 17. The event is free and open to the public.

Students researched and wrote their speeches during one class each day, either social studies or literacy, as part of a project-based unit this quarter. The Resilience Café unit of study tasked students with learning about historical figures as well as community or family members whose lives demonstrate different kinds of resilience. In their presentations, students contrast those inspirational figures with their own experiences.

West Middle School eight-grade literacy and social studies teacher Bryan Bell said students have grown closer to their classmates based on the personal stories each child chose for his or her presentation.

“A lot of students said, ‘I wanted your life; I didn’t know all you had to deal with.’ It ended up being far more powerful than any of us imagined,” Bell said.

Resilience Café, along with other West Middle School Presentations of Learning, have been made possible by teachers implementing Project-Based Learning and STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) education at West. Students will celebrate community members’ resilience through the spoken word.