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March for our Schools

On March 11th, 2019 educators and community members join together wearing red, to march for approval of the Kirwan Commission:

It brings together representatives from across the State to review the findings of the Study of Adequacy of Funding for Education in Maryland, hear from national experts on world class education systems, and make recommendations for improving education in Maryland through funding, policies, and resources that will prepare Maryland students “to meet the challenges of a changing global economy, to meet the State’s workforce needs, to be prepared for postsecondary education and the workforce, and to be successful citizens in the 21st century.”

This commission was created to work towards…

“…more effective supports for flailing students; bona fide high school pathways pointing toward remediation-free college and life-sustaining careers; teachers whose preparation, compensation and career prospects will lead abler individuals to enter and remain in this honorable profession. And because of this, significantly higher academic outcomes for our students.”

There were over 8,500 teachers from Maryland came out to march for school funding.  Maryland schools are underfunded by $2.9 billion every year, about $2 million on average per school, and teachers are underpaid by 25 percent, compared to other professions.

I rode a bus from Carver Center for the Arts, in Towson, to Annapolis with other Baltimore County Public School educators. County Executive Johnny Olszewski also road the bus with us down to Annapolis. TABCO paid for and provided not only the transportation, but also boxed lunches. We also received posters, cow bells, and beanie hats! Check out the poster I made below!

 

The march was so inspiring, as we walked side by side, everyone together for one purpose…To see our children walking and cheering for a better future. They deserve better than what we’ve been settling for, and the state of the future depends on making a change.

I am proud to speak up for the hard work that teachers in Maryland do, and how our students deserve happy teachers. Teachers who do not have to work an extra job during the school year, or who have to pay for supplies from their own pockets.  It is mind blowing to me that we are shaping our future, yet there is so little importance given to making sure teachers have all the tools necessary to develop students who are creative, curious and caring citizens.

On April 1st we are organizing a demonstration at the County Executive’s office in Towson. We will present hundreds of postcards to the County Executive and ask the County Executive to find the resources needed to fund our schools, our raises and the additional staff we need so we can provide the world class education our students deserve.

Two things you can do to help:

1. Send Johnny Olszewski an email telling him what you need at your school and asking him to find the resources to fund additional needed staff and our raises.

2. Be there on April 1st (No Fooling!) at the Historic Courthouse in Towson from 5:30 to 7:00pm. Click here to RSVP. Bring your red shirt!

Thanks for the support!

<3

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Art Art Class Divine I Am Education Existence Revealing Treasures in your Own Backyard

Plein Air Painting

For the first three days of summer break, I participated in a Baltimore County Public Schools Art Educator workshop at the Hampton National Historic Site.

The first workshop was “Painting with Pastels. We got an overview of some of the history of the site prior to choosing where and what to create and were able to roam where we pleased to create art inspired by the park.

We gathered together around 2pm to discuss all of the work we’ve created! The workshop was scheduled to be over at 3 but we didn’t even finish our talk until 3:40! Art teachers really like to discuss each others work.

 

The next workshop was Plein Air Painting for 2 days! The weather was gorgeous and I surely got some vitamin D. I love being able to create art inspired by a place I am drawn to. The Hampton National Historic Site is one of those places. Baltimore County Teachers have come to Hampton for the past 4 years to practice our skills using our very own National Park.  Most teachers use this workshop to create their own art for the Student/Teacher Art Exhibit the Hampton Historic Inc. facilitates in April. Teachers also take their inspiration back to their classroom and teach their students about Hampton while creating art that is inspired by the site.

Last year there were over 100 submissions into the 4th Annual Student/Teacher Art Exhibit. This is a perfect opportunity for teachers and students to be recognized for their amazing work.

This year I decided to do an intuitive painting for the plein air workshop. I used tools, and my color combination layer to create an emotionally fill painting.

When I first started painting I was drawn to the Bee Balm flowers, so I started with them in mind. After making my first two layers of colors I noticed a mark that looked like a woman! I knew I had to keep her, as I felt like maybe she was Eliza Ridgely or her daughter.

 

Eliza Ridgely was an avid gardener, and in the 1830s and 1840s she improved the gardens and enhanced the landscape at Hampton, planting exotic trees such as the Lebanon Cedar which still stands on the house’s south lawn. She is said to have brought this herself as a seedling from Europe, carrying it in a shoebox. She did a lot for her slaves, was which was unheard of in her time. She took care to make sure they were clothed, fed, given gifts during Christmas, church services on Sunday and even marriages between the slaves, not caring that slaves weren’t able to actually be apart of a civil act.

Eliza’s daughter, Eliza, did not want to be the lady of the house and take over the duties her mother had so willingly adopted. Her daughter wanted to be friends with the slaves, and to be free to be a normal girl. She felt trapped in the life she was born into.

Screenshot_20170629-214055

 

While I was painting I kept hearing, “everyone has a story.” A lot of times the major story focused on at the mansion is the story of the enslaved people at Hampton. I appreciate the awareness and knowledge I gain from the park rangers about the life of the enslaved. I know their story is vital to the Ridgely family history… without their slaves, life for the Ridgely’s wouldn’t have been the same. But it is also important to see that within every experience, there are multiple perspectives, there are multiple stories to be told.

The Ojibwe teach that not one road is higher than the next…that each road shines light on the others. Each of our perspectives, each of our stories are valuable and vital to the totality of our life experiences.

I am grateful to be able to learn multiple perspectives about the history of the Hampton National Historic Site, from life as an enslaved person to the life of the family. I am able to learn about plants, flowers and landscaping along with art and culture in the 1800’s. There is still much to uncover and learn about Hampton and I look forward to how the history at this location resonates with experiences I have in my life.

<3 Migwetch
Raine Dawn

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Existence

Towson Art Education Class of 08′

Yesterday evening I had the pleasure of reuniting with a few good friends from my Art Education Towson class. It was such a delightful evening. Our dear friend Nannie hosted at her AMAZING house, with sangria, cheese and crackers, and a drum circle around the fire!

Ladies you are amazing! It was so refreshing to hear about all of the great things you are doing, and to see your beautiful children. Each of you is a super woman! Keep pushing on and know you are all wonderful.

I cant wait until our next chance to meet, and I hope everyone can make it!!

The perfect end to a busy day
<3