Students in Santa Rosa have had a tough year. In October, fires raged through our community and many schools were closed for weeks. Comstock Middle School was in the middle of an evacuation zone. Students lost three weeks of school, and many students and teachers lost their homes. Parents of the students at our low income/high poverty school also lost jobs, so families weren't just adjusting to the loss of a home, they lost their incomes as well.
Despite the chaos from the fires and the profound loss that permeated our community, kids returned to school hopeful.
More than ever before, our school represents a safe place with structure, friends, and love. Comstock is the hub of our Northwest Santa Rosa community, and our kids feel the connection. Being at school allows kids to glimpse the future and dream big.
Several years ago Google came to our school and lead our students on virtual field trips. Our entire staff participated in the Google Expedition training, so I know that these materials would be heavily used in English, science, history, and math.Ever since then, I've longed to give our students this type of experiential learning on a regular basis. For example, when students read about Shakespeare, wouldn't it be wonderful if they could also visit the Globe Theater in London?
With Google Expeditions, students can stare into the eye of a whirling category five hurricane, walk around a strand of DNA, visit space, or explore the Great Wall of China.
They are be able to immerse themselves in other parts of the world that are inaccessible to them and their families. With this technology, learning is vivid, visceral, active, and intense.
Comstock is a high poverty/ low-income school, and many of our students haven't left Sonoma County, let alone the state. Google Expeditions would give them the opportunity to experience the world outside their neighborhood.
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