Norman Rockwell: One of the most respected artists of the 20th century, known for the strikingly accurate portrayal of mid-1900s American culture in his work. He's most famous for his interpretation of Rosie The Riveter, and several pieces that covered publications during WWII.
Street Art: A lot of people still consider it vandalism -- and by law, it usually is -- but street art has been gaining recognition as a legitimate art form over the past decade or so. It's characterized by visual designs and paintings in public places outside of the context of traditional venues.
So, what is art you'd normally find in a museum doing sharing a space with graffiti that you might see on the side of a building?
According to the Worcester Telegram, it started when the Emeritus Assisted Living group renovated 200 units at their Auburn campus earlier in the year. When the project was completed, a couple hundred framed prints, many by well-known artists including Rockwell, were replaced. Not wanting to simply dispose of them, Emeritus's headquarters in Seattle solicited requests for the prints, YouthBuild New Bedford responded, and was chosen by the organization to receive the art.
At this point, Emeritus could have easily sent a truck to YouthBuild New Bedford filled with art, dumped the prints on their doorstep and said, "Here you are, you're welcome. Take care of these."
But they didn't.
Instead, they organized a lunch and ice cream social, and invited YouthBuilders to spend the day with the seniors at their Auburn location. As if that wasn't enough, they sent a bus to transport students to and from the facility, telling them they could take back as many of the prints as they could fit on the bus. So they graciously took advantage of the offer. Four students and three staff members made the trip to Auburn, sharing lunch, ice cream, and conversation with Emeritus residents that week, and returned with a bus-full of new decorations for their building.
And the donations didn't stop there.
Around the same time students traveled to Auburn, staff at YouthBuild New Bedford coordinated with another local youth program called "Third Eye Unlimited". 3rd Eye's goal: "To unite young people, utilizing Hip Hop, a common cultural art form and voice for the people, to engage and empower youth to positively change themselves and their community." That last part looks familiar, doesn't it? Like it was taken right out of the YouthBuild mission statement. With goals so similar, and offices so close to each other, it would only make sense that these two groups work together, right?
That's why when Third Eye Unlimited approached YouthBuild New Bedford several years ago and asked them to build frames for the murals painted during the street art competition at their Hip Hop festival, they were happy to collaborate. After this year's competition, 3rd Eye donated a mural by a group of street artists known as DBM to YouthBuild New Bedford. With a little sweat, construction know-how, and some creativity, staff and students at the South Shore site were able to use it to completely remodel their meeting room. Only in YouthBuild will you find people with the imagination to see this and the skills to build it.
The mural and prints will go a long way toward improving the atmosphere of the old St. Mary's orphanage, YouthBuild New Bedford's home since January of this year. It was a home that nine months ago had boarded up windows and bare walls, and was in desperate need of redecoration.
Of course, the new decor does seem strange at first -- a combination of prints by famous artists and street art by a local group. But think about it; the program they're decorating takes in youth from all walks of life, from different backgrounds and families, with various interests and goals and tastes. So if YouthBuild programs embrace diversity and encourage expression in their students, why shouldn't their classrooms reflect that?
YouthBuild New Bedford's do. So do the spaces of many other Mass. YouthBuild programs. Do yours?
It's almost here: the new and revised GED exam. You've been preparing for its arrival over the past year at Learning Academies and various trainings, but how comfortable do you feel about teaching your students what they need to know to pass the test?
If your answer is "not very", and you haven't been to the GED Testing Service's website, you might want to take a look at the eight-week program they've designed for "busy educators who need or want the flexibility to direct their own learning and learn at their own pace", with the goal of assisting teachers "in organizing and applying the wealth of information available published by the GED Testing Service about the new GED test" in their classrooms.
While the program claims you can learn at your own pace, it suggests setting aside 4-6 hours a week for the course (if you want to get through it in eight weeks), which is organized into four two-week sections.
The program breaks down each two-week section even further with helpful action items designed to help you better comprehend its content. You'll be directed to:
Working through each content area by following those six action items should end with, according to the GED Testing Service, you gaining "additional knowledge and understanding that benefits both you and your students." How much additional knowledge? We're not sure. We haven't been through the program ourselves, and outside of Learning Academies, we don't know how you've been preparing individually. That being said, when you prepare for an exam, isn't it your best bet to use the study materials put together by the people who have a hand in making it? Try out a section or two. A little more information can't hurt, even if it's a bit redundant.
If you've made it through the course and would like to comment on its usefulness, please do so below in the "comments" section. We'd love to hear from you.
More information about the Teacher's Guide to the 2014 GED Test
Download the Teacher's Guide to the 2014 GED Test
Visit the GED Testing Service's website
The Massachusetts YouthBuild Coalition is seeking an AmeriCorps VISTA for the upcoming year. As the MYBC VISTA, you'll engage in capacity-building work that will enhance the operations of the eleven member programs in Massachusetts. Benefits include: your choice of the $5,550 Segal AmeriCorps Education Award or a $1,500 end-of-service stipend, a modest living allowance, health care, relocation allowance, and post-service federal employment incentives and opportunities. Your term of service would begin in December.
Interested applicants please respond by email to Terry Moran at email@example.com using the subject heading "AmeriCorps VISTA Capacity Developer".
FULL-TIME AMERICORPS POSITION- AmeriCorps VISTA Capacity Developer
ONE POSITION AVAILABLE
Massachusetts YouthBuild Coalition, 593 Kempton St., New Bedford, MA 02740
This is a full-time one year position beginning in December for a dynamic individual who is
looking to work in the non-profit world with an organization that oversees 11 YouthBuild
programs across Massachusetts. YouthBuild is a comprehensive youth development program
that works with young people between the ages of 16 and 24 who have left school and are out of
work, but looking to develop the necessary educational and work skills to build a path to a
successful future. The Massachusetts YouthBuild Coalition has been one of the leading
advocacy and support organizations in the non-profit network since 1996. The ideal candidate
will be able to demonstrate:
• Excellent oral and written communication skills
• Research skills especially in the area of fundraising
• Knowledge of multiple social media platforms including but not limited to Facebook and Twitter
• Event planning
• Website maintenance and updating
• Summarizing Coalition meetings
• Prepare a monthly newsletter
• Maintain Coalition data through the use of spreadsheets
In addition to the annual salary, an education award of $5,550 will be awarded upon completion
of the year’s term of service. This award can be utilized for future education or to repay federal
If there’s one word I’ve heard associated with YouthBuild more than any other, it’s “family”.
At every MYBC event, in countless statements from YouthBuild programs around the country, and even in emails and social media interactions between students and staff, it’s there: “family”.
As I’m sure many of you have heard, we adopted a new family member earlier this year, and they want to get to know some of their other YouthBuild brothers and sisters from around the state. So they’ve organized "Build Day", an opportunity for students and staff from around the Commonwealth to come together at the newest Massachusetts YouthBuild program, YouthBuild North Shore, and collaborate on tasks that YouthBuilders know best -- flooring, carpentry and painting -- in a space next door that will hold offices for the YouthBuild team, and an area for students to work, socialize, and learn with each other.
Build Day will take place at 98 Lafayette Street in Salem, MA on November 13th from 12-5. YB North Shore is hoping to get students and staff from as many MYBC programs as possible, and have even gone so far as to bribe everybody with pizza. How great is that?
RVSP to Build Day and get to know your fellow YouthBuilders while you help them improve their home in Salem!