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Enrichment Experience for Students from Rural Communities

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Category: impact Video duration: Enrichment Experience for Students from Rural Communities
Video by Mark Blane for Virginia Tech.

SEE VT, the Summer Enrichment Experience at Virginia Tech, hosted its inaugural session this summer. SEE VT is an opportunity for middle school students living in rural communities throughout Southwest Virginia. During the free, one-week residential summer camp on Virginia Tech’s campus, students had the opportunity to learn and reflect on what it means to live and thrive in rural communities.
Often people look at rural communities and they might ask questions like, where's the entrepreneurship or where is the vibrancy are the vitality? And my response to that is that we have to do more to invest in rural youth. Cbt is responding to an opportunity gap for rural learners. And we really feel like this is an act of social justice, that this is a way of enacting equity and addressing an inequity for rural learners by providing an enrichment experience for students who may otherwise not have it. Dvt, which stands for the summer enrichment experience at Virginia Tech, is a residential enrichment program for rising sixth, seventh graders from rural school districts. At CBT, the students come and they have an enrichment experience that's rural focused and place-based. So part of what was really important to us as planning the curriculum was not to reinforce this idea that to be great or be gifted or any of those things have to happen in these other places. So even though we're bringing them to CVC, we also wanted to make sure that we were valuing their home communities, rural places, rural people in rural communities brought on for the curriculum, especially for the Humanities strand of everything. I really wanted to take it to a place of like, how do we celebrate place? And theater and technical theater and poetry and art, and yoga and movement and music. And how do we celebrate where we're from and how do we access those different areas and the humanity strand, we're trying to make something about a symbol of what it was like growing up. We can do a poem. We can make a map. I'm building a house. You could do a skit or morning curriculum was called the few nexus. So that's the food, energy, water nexus. And we've worked with Dr. Hannan share and some other folks in agriculture and engineering to put together a curriculum that Dr. Rachel took the lead on. And what was really cool about that was once again, highlighting place and the intersection of food, energy, and water in rural communities. We took the students around to field trips. We took them to the MATLAB and we took them to the water lab and they got to see themselves as experts. Right now, if I tell you flex your muscles to do this, right? These muscles are living right and wrong. I love the field trips have a very interesting activities. Throughout the whole week, we had kids, I had to leave to go to a poultry competition. It's who are experts and judging cattle and the meat and cropped. I was first place. What they're bringing to the table is honored, valued, and has a place and relevance. Even at a place like Virginia Tech, my favorite thing going so that brings us well, it's alive in them. One of the things that we had planned for was to introduce the students to Nikki Giovanni, his poems. He wanted to come meet you all and say hello. So let me introduce you. We paused in our day before completion of evening, George, I do cook dinner and you your weight. Buzz by a favorite session so far has been Nikki Giovanni when she came in earlier today, because I've read a lot of her poetry before and I really liked her poetry. It was an honor to meet her. I really want to like go to college in Virginia Tech. So it's really nice to come here and stay in the dorms. And I've been having fun here and we have been spending five nights. This is one way, one way that we can invest in rural talent.