| Andrew Miller

Spring CAP Class Wakes Up Dormant Learners

AMS CAP learners in classWhen the nation went into lockdown last year and students transitioned to online learning, some learners went into a kind of dormancy. The second period CAP outdoor class at Angevine Middle School had many students who hadn’t participated much in online learning and were both eager and hesitant to go back to school with hybrid learning.

One of the students in particular caught my attention. In order not to embarrass him, I’ll just call him “E.” When I stopped by E’s house to drop off class supplies, he was totally surprised and he didn’t know how to react to a visit from a teacher. Was the teacher spying? Being nice? Why did she have a blue bag with pieces of string and seeds and other weird things in it? Before COVID, E had been a good student and a positive part of the school community. When we started online learning last year, E was completely MIA. He rarely logged into online class. This dormancy got even more pronounced this school year. Was E going to be one of the students we lose forever to the pandemic?

The school team of front office staff, teachers and administration came together to help E get back into student life. My home visit was the first of many to get him on a bus and into the classroom. When he finally joined the class, E had reminded me of a little plant that had the leaves raked away from it in the spring. Underneath his tough exterior, he was so vulnerable.

AMS CAP learners in classCAP Outdoor class was the perfect reintroduction back into school. We focused on community building and did fun activities that helped all the students jump back into learning. We built shelters out of tarps, tied all kinds of knots, built birdhouses, and planted seeds. We learned about environmental issues and helped the students see what a positive impact they have on the world when they engage with other students. By the end of the semester on the first days of spring, the seeds we had planted in egg cartons in the classroom were not the only sprouts emerging. E and his friends were all stretching and growing toward the light.

Written by AMS CAP Instructor Erin Angel

See more photos from the course here!

CAP at Angevine Middle School is made possible in part by a grant from Great Outdoors Colorado (GOCO) through the Nature Kids/Jovenes de la Naturaleza program. Click here to learn more!

Categories: Action Projects, Angevine Middle School

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