Active Citizenship

Ethan Peritz’s Jumpstart Address

On May 7, Ethan Peritz, A13, delivered a speech at Jumpstart’s Scribbles to Novels, a fundraiser promoting the importance of literacy and and the power of written word. In his address, he details his three years of experience with Jumpstart, as well as the important lessons that he has learned by virtue of working with the educational nonprofit.

Jumpstart is the only national supplemental program that uses the power of community and adult-child relationships to help children from low-income neighborhoods learn the important language and literacy skills needed to succeed in both academics and the everyday. The Tufts chapter of Jumpstart is operated out of Tisch College, and works with preschool children in Somerville and Chinatown. Within the short three years Ethan worked with Jumpstart, he was able to bring the Tufts Jumpstart team back to Chinatown for the first time in ten years. What’s more is that he was so successful in redeveloping this expansion that Tufts will be bringing a new team there this coming fall.

Recounting his initial experience with the program, Ethan describes how his first student spat in his face when he asked him to discuss the book they were given to read. Unfazed, Ethan later discovered that his student suffered from PTSD due to the 2008 Haitian earthquake, and realized that he needed to figure out a way for the two to connect on a deeper level. The winning approach: beat-boxing.

Ethan recalls,  “I [first] entered Jumpstart because I was ‘good with kids.’ I stayed because I actually connected with one. I learned that the core of teaching is creating a context, a context for these kids to take responsibility for their own learning – from going from being children to being students. That’s what Jumpstart does, and that’s what I’m going to do my entire life.”

Check out Ethan’s speech in the video below:

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Tufts Hillel Visits Haiti

Swiftly following spring semester’s conclusion, fifteen Tufts students traveled to Haiti through a Tufts Hillel and American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee (JDC) trip. During an eight day trip, students learned about and experienced the lasting effects wrought by the earthquake and hurricane that left Haiti devastated in 2010, as well health and education-related hurdles that have plagued the country’s development.

Detailing their visit on Tufts Hillel to Haiti, you can read about the students’ amazing efforts and experiences. They were not only able to get down and dirty, helping repair a damaged amphitheater built by the past Haitian president, Jean Aristide, but were also afforded the opportunity to teach English and play with local students, as well as meet with village leaders to discuss ways to further community development and citizens’ access to health care.

In between the learning and hard work, the group also got to visit Port-au-Prince, French-inspired art galleries, and take in the breath taking beauty of Haiti’s rural areas. One Tufts’ blogger writes,

“[We] were captivated by the natural beauty of this country, but were also saddened in a way that the lacking infrastructure and actual government support for tourism in Haiti has caused this native resource to be totally under appreciated by the majority of the world.”

Take a look at some pictures from the amazing trip below:

Haiti Group Picture

Photo Credit: Tufts Hillel to Haiti, http://www.jdcentwine.org/trips/tufts-haiti-2013

 

Photo Credit: Tufts Hillel to Haiti, http://www.jdcentwine.org/index.cfm?go=main.viewPost&PostID=923

Photo Credit: Tufts Hillel to Haiti, http://www.jdcentwine.org/trips/tufts-haiti-2013

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GlobeMed at Tufts University

GlobeMed at Tufts is a group dedicated to building a movement of people who believe in health and justice for all. They partner with Nyaya Health,  a U.S. non-profit that works to provide free healthcare to the people of Achham, Nepal.

In 2012, Nyaya Health treated more than 30,000 patients as they began to implement a sustainable healthcare system in the region. Tufts GlobeMed is proud to be  a partner of this dynamic organization.

Check out GlobeMed’s new promo video:

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The Innovation Catalog

Tufts student Shriya Nevatia, A14, writes about educational technology and the future of learning in her blog The Innovation Catalog. Shriya looks at everything through the context of her own background as an individual interested in education, mathematics, computer science, philosophy, technology, culture/media and the visual & performing arts. She interacts with a range of issues in the educational field including the affects of race, gender and class.

Here’s an excerpt from a post she wrote entitled “Risk-Taking and Feminism: The Limited Entrepreneurial Education of Girls”:

We need to cultivate a culture that tells girls to take risks just as much as it tells boys to, and reinforces the idea that a failed business or underground activity in their young years will not turn into a scary mark on their permanent record or a trip to juvie. Many of the entrepreneurs that the Western world worships (George Foreman, Walt Disney, Henry Ford, Richard Branson, Simon Cowell to name a few) were rebellious risk-takers in their young years. They were also all male. The women who are prominent entrepreneurs and self-made millionaires/billionaires went through more traditional paths.

 

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Fletcher Summer Institute

Applications are now available for the Fletcher Summer Institute for the Advanced Study of Nonviolent Conflict (FSI). This is the only executive education program in the interdisciplinary study of nonviolent conflict, taught by leading scholars and practitioners of strategic nonviolent action and authorities from related fields. This program offers a certificate in the Advanced Study of Nonviolent Conflict that draws upon its multidisciplinary approach to global affairs.

Since the program was founded in 2005, more than 300 individuals from more than 50 different countries have come together during this week-long seminar and shared their experiences. They have learned all about non-violent conflict, which is under-recognized in most history books and contemporary news media, as well as the fact that many hold widespread misconceptions about its use.

Watch the video below to get an overview of what this program encompasses.

For more information, visit the program website.

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Crisis Mapper – Patrick Meier

Patrick Meier, a Ph.D. candidate at The Fletcher School, recently starred in a video inspired by the work of the Standby Volunteer Task Force (SBTF).

SBTF group includes 1000+ digital humanitarians in more than 80 countries around the world. They are responsible for some of the important live crisis mapping operations that support humanitarian and human rights organizations. Crisis mapping involves monitoring use of information communications in conflict and disaster areas in order to improve response.  SBTF is committed to rapid learning and innovation as well as creative uses of technology due to their dedicated volunteers, Mapsters.

Check out this short video about Meier and SBTF that first aired on National Geographic Television Channel.

For more information visit Meier’s blog here.

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TuftsRecycles! Sends Shoes to Africa

Last semester, the TuftsRecyles! Team put a recycling bin for shoes in the Tisch Sports Center. The project was a partnership with Rerun Shoes, a full-service footwear recycling company, that aims to remove usable shoes from waste lots in North America while supporting sustainable microbusinesses in the African Tropics.

TuftsRecycles! recently updated their blog announcing that the are sending their first full box of shoes to secondhand shoe vendors in Mali, Guinea and Liberia. Check out the photo below and visit their blog for more details.

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Winter Break Abroad

This winter break,  students involved with the Institute for Global Leadership (IGL) traveled across the globe to conduct research. IGL at Tufts focuses on teaching students to be  effective and ethical leaders, “ready to act as global citizens in addressing international and national issues across cultures.”

Students traveled to Cambodia, Colombia, India, Kosovo, New Orleans, Nepal, Nicaragua, Rwanda,  Turkey and Uganda this winter break and the IGL Facebook page posted some great photos from their travels. Check out these below and more on their Facebook page!

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Fletcher Students: “It Only Takes Ten”

The Educate Lanka Foundation is running a campaign called “It Only Takes Ten” in an effort to expand access to educational resources in Sri Lanka. The campaign encourages people to donate $10, volunteer 10 minutes out of their day, or tell 10 people about the cause, as a means to raise global awareness  while also generating funds.

Students at The Fletcher School are doing their part to spread the word: in this recently released video, you’ll meet a multilingual group of students who announce the campaign in several different languages. Watch the video below, and learn more about the campaign here:

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Alum Creates New Words With Friends

It’s been about two weeks since Loren Brichter, E06, launched his first-ever mobile game, Letterpress, and it has already reached the ranks of #14 most popular app and #1 most popular Word Game in App Store charts. Before launching Letterpress, Brichter created the Twitter iPhone app we know and love today before it was officially Twitter’s.

His new game revolves around taking turns with a friend spelling words on a 5×5 grid of letters. Each time you use a letter, you claim its tile, but if your friend uses the letter in his or her word, he or she can steal the tile back. The game has been called “the next Words with Friends“ and was recently featured in the New York Times’s Business of Technology, BITS, blog.  The game has been so well-received it has inspired a new form of poetry and off-line game for those addicted but without power during Hurricane Sandy.

Brichter has also found a way to give back to his loyal customers: he is donating all sales of his Letterpress t-shirt to the American Red Cross for Hurricane Sandy relief. To follow his work, check out his website.

 

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