Up With People
In October I visited Washington DC to watch the Up With People show, then followed the cast to Harrisonburg, Virginia to teach a select group of cast members and the management team about Tel.A.Vision. Up With People is a group of International students that travel the world bringing a message of peace, hope and possibility. They have been doing this since 1965.
In January I will be training their whole cast in Tel.A.Vision and beginning our vision of bringing vision videos to 6th grade students in communities they travel to. In addition to the 80 cast members we hope to work with the 20,000 alumni and have them bring Tel.A.Vision to their communities.
In November I participated in the Big Tent Conference in Houston. We created a new product called Spark.A.Vision. It is a combination of Dr. Peter Benson’s work on Sparks and Tel.A.Vision. Dr. Benson’s research has shown that what every young person needs for a successful upbringing is to find his/her spark in life and have three adults support them. Tel.A.Vision is a way to help a young person identify their spark and share it with the world. We had a fabulous response in Houston and look forward to collaborating to bring this to the world. W believe this work could be enhanced by proposed regulations to begin Career and College Preparedness with students in sixth grade.
Here is a video where students talk about their experience creating Spark.A.Vision videos.
In December Bob Dockendorf, Gwen Toppe and I presented at the TIES Conference. Bob is the Principal of Big Lake High School. This fall Big Lake held “Transition Day” for all ninth graders on the first day of school. Every ninth grader began a Tel.A.Vision video on that day. Teachers created videos that they shared with the students. They talked to the students about the importance of having a vision for their lives. At the conference Bob shared stories of the difference the program has made with individual students and initial results from the vision videos. These results included a 2.6% increase in attendance and a 30% drop in the number of write ups for disciplinary problems.
This fall we received a Community Grant from the Best Buy Foundation to fund expansion of Tel.A.Vision in Twin Cities Schools. In 2011 we will be funding research on Tel.A.Vision’s effectiveness and a number of pilot programs for At Risk youth. With a grant from the Rothmann Family Foundation we have funded programs including the use of Tel.A.Vision by youth at the Mercy Center in Bangkok, http://www.mercycentre.org. Mercy Center is a hospital for children with AIDS. They will be creating vision videos to send to their sponsors.
If you know of any foundations or organizations you think would be interested in helping fund Tel.A.Vision please let us know.
Quotes from Nebraska High School Students
This fall we received testimonials from High School Students in Nebraska who had completed vision videos. In this blog post we share some of the quotes. Here is one of our favorites: “Thank you soooo much I was really having a tough time in my life and wasnt really paying attention to anything. I drank and I was even considering joining a gang but now this has really just set me back an my path and I can actually see wer im going so thank you.”