SCHS students use research and writing to bring change to campus
Nine Summer Creek High School juniors presented their research and findings on voices of restorative justice in a TED style talk format to help implement positive change at their school. From left, Amanda Quach, Grace Stewart, Morgan Flores, Abigail Cardoza, Vanessa Aguirre, Major Brown, Mirren Robison, and Lynsey Livingston. (Not pictured: Andre Williams)
Summer Creek High School students prepare to implement positive changes at their school during the 2nd Annual Pen Symposium.
The Pen Symposium is an annual student-led conference hosted by the Summer Creek High School Social Outreach Society (SOS) and AP English Language and Composition and English III American Literature teachers. At the beginning of the school year junior students enrolled in either English class were tasked with answering the following questions:
“Who are the voices of Restorative Justice?”
“What can you learn from them?”
“How can you add your own voice to the conversation in a meaningful way?”
Through research, writing, argumentation, and rhetoric the students arrived prepared for student-led Socratic style discussions during the event. Breakout session topics included, Social Justice, Political Ethics, Peaceful Protest, Gender Identity and Equality, Education and School Culture, Food Ethics, Pop Culture, Community Service and Public Relationships, Healthcare and Bio-ethics.
During the Pen Symposium nine of those students were given the opportunity to showcase their research and writing to argue their final proposals in a three to five minute TED style talk or Slam Poetry format to compete for a leadership role in the school’s Social Outreach Society (SOS). Their topics covered identity, love, a parent’s listening ear, and nonconformity.
At the end of the event Grace Stewart and Morgan Flores were named 2017 Pen Symposium Leaders. Both students won a $300 scholarship and will lead the Social Outreach Society in continuing to implement restorative discipline at Summer Creek High School. Closing out the event was keynote speaker Dr. Benjamin S. Wall, Assistant Professor of Religion & Ethics at Greensboro College, who spoke about seeking truth in all things.
The Pen Symposium will continue to serve as a way for students to take part in serving as student leaders and creating a positive culture at Summer Creek High School.