Here’s what the courageous leaders of Rodriguez Elementary have been working on since their Courage in Actin training ended:
A team concerned about the messages in Donald Trump’s speeches started making posters encouraging equal treatment for all people.
The team focused on the treatment of immigrants in detention centers worked on writing letters to Immigration and Customs Enforcement asking for better treatment of everyone in the facilities, and to let people free to stay in this country.
The Natural Disasters team and Hunger/ Homelessness team realized that they had similar goals for the action they had decided on. They were both working toward food and clothing drives to help people affected by all of these things, so they decided to work together toward a food drive.
We’re so excited about all the brand new missions initiated at Linder Elementary!
In Agent Carrizalez’ class, the “Peace to the World” team plans on creating a group letter to end gun violence that they hope to mail to lawmakers. There’s also a group of new agents hoping to march to end hunger and poverty.
In Agent Aguilar’s class, one team wants to write letters, start a petition, and march to end the deportation of loved ones. Another team wants to create a fundraiser to help cure diseases like cancer and asthma.
In Agent Muneer’s class, there’s a team of new agents eager to help stop animal abuse by creating a club that will pass out flyers and maybe even create a website. There’s also a team hoping to boycott gasoline and use other forms of transportation as a form of protest against high gas prices.
We had a great time finding out how the Agents of Ortega Elementary are doing on their missions!
Agent Zettl’s class wanted Austin Pets Alive! to start classes on how to
be a responsible pet owner for people when they adopt pets. One of the
students took action and called them to ask about this possibility.
Kudos to her for being brave and taking action! Unfortunately, APA
didn’t think that it was going to be something they could do right
now. So we evaluated success and tried again.
It turns out Agent Pacheco’s class also chose the topic of animal abuse
to start solving, and they had the idea to make a fundraiser to donate
to APA. Both classes decided to join forces, and got started right
away making posters and making notes of what steps need to be taken
next to work out details with the principal. They have decided to put
on a talent show, and people can either pay a small admission fee or
bring pet supplies to donate, and all proceeds will go to APA. They
also had a lot of great ideas like making it an outdoor show so that
they could incorporate a pet talent show/ costume contest. People can
bring their dogs and enter the show! They will of course have to touch
base with the principal to make sure this is ok. Some students also
had the idea to invite APA to come out to give a brief education piece
on how to be a responsible pet owner. This way, the group that wanted
to form education classes can incorporate their ideas into the
fundraiser! You can hear about this project here!
The other group in Agent Zettl’s group decided to start solving the
problem of smoking and cancer. They had talked about writing letters
to stores in Austin asking them to take cigarettes off their shelves,
but we decided this may be a better end goal. To start with, they had
a discussion about how difficult it is to quit smoking and how people
will find a way to smoke even if some stores stop selling them. After
talking about the dangers of smoking and how it affects other people,
they started writing letters to people they know who smoke, telling
them how it’s harmful and asking them to try to quit.
In Agent Pacheco’s group, the other team was Team Pro-Peace, which is
working on the problem of terrorism. This group had chosen this topic
a few hours before the bombings in Paris a few weeks ago. We reviewed
what had happened in that situation and talked a little more about the
issue. This group had started creating a website. So far they have the
ideas of putting news articles on there and a peace plan/ petition for
people to sign. This group continued working on the design of the
website and decided to add a place where people can donate, watch
videos, see photos, and find help if they’re in need of assistance.
Agent Zettl’s class, the animal abuse team decided to volunteer to create classes at Austin Pets Alive that teach people how to be responsible pet owners when they adopt. The cancer/smoking team learned how CVS took cigarettes off their shelves, so they decided to write letters to other stores asking them to do the same.
In Agent Pacheco’s class, the animal abuse team decided to do a fundraiser (most likely a talent show) and raise money for Austin Pets Alive. We hope they will join forces with Agents in Agent Zettl’s class, since they chose the same topic and both wanted to get involved with the same organization! The terrorism team talked more in depth about what it is and what’s currently going on. That team is considering protesting, but we encourage them to do more research to learn more about this problem as well.
We look forward to returning to Ortega to learn more about your courageous leadership on these issues!
There are so many ambitious missions underway at Rodriguez Elementary!
Agent O’Keefe’s class is taking action to support immigrant communities in a number of ways. One group wants to end immigrant detention, and they plan to write letters to women on hunger strike in a detention center nearby, and also to Immigration and Customs Enforcement asking them to stop detaining immigrants. Another group of new agents in Agent O’Keefe’s class is making plans to fight against racism against immigrants among politicians.
In Agent Severino’s class, one group of agents is going to join forces with the leadership of Rodriguez Elementary, since they’re already collecting donations of food, hygiene items, clothes, and more for those who were affected by the recent floods. The students will help try to boost those donations. Another group focused on fighting hunger learned from their teacher that the school also has a food pantry where families can come weekly if they need assistance. Since the agents weren’t aware of it, they thought other students might not be either. So, they’re making posters and a statement during morning announcements to let people know it’s available. The idea of a food drive was new to them, and they talked about running a food drive for the school’s food pantry.
Agent 11 had a great visit to Agents at UT Elementary! Here’s the status on the missions their teams initiated earlier this year:
Team Terrorism has designed care packages for refugees and plan to research how they can send them to the Red Cross to be distributed.
Team Racism wrote inspirational speeches that they plan to deliver to the younger students at UT by going from class to class spreading a message of equality and inclusion.
Team Pollution is working on a UT NewsCast to be broadcast to younger students on how they can help their environment.
Team Child Abuse met with their Counselor who posted flyers on campus to remind students that they can talk anonymously and safely about any issue effecting their lives. They are writing original stories to inspire younger students to speak up.
Listen to the Agents encouraging others, in their own words, here and here!