Hello, It’s Good to Be Back
Well, I know that it has been a while since we last met here on the blog, but we here at EAST have been busy “dreaming up” a more coordinated communications strategy and have spent quite a bit of time trying to make sure that all of the pieces fit together the way they need to so we can do the best job possible in telling our story. If you’ve been keeping up with us over the years, you know that’s it’s only one of the coolest stories ever: real students in real schools taking an active role in building stronger communities while learning the sorts of things that make them the captains of their own destiny and prepared to lead us all in the years to come. The more concise way to say that is, “Wow! That can be done?!?”
Rather than flood your inboxes and overwhelm your newsfeeds, then, we’ve been carefully looking at how to share these stories in the best venues. We now have a website that is visited over 400,000 times a month, a digital magazine that reaches thousands across the globe, all the social media that’s fit to print, this blog, and other avenues to share the accomplishments happening every day in EAST. We’ve got the plan, and you’ll start seeing more and (hopefully) interesting information on this blog that you won’t get anywhere else. I hope you find it inspiring, thought provoking, and useful.
EAST is Happening!
Speaking of useful, EAST is happening and making a difference! We’ve settled into the new school year and our fall training is in full swing. It’s great when we have facilitators and students in our headquarters. We feed off their excitement and love watching them learn new things. This week it was Phase Training (Phase II) and Motion Graphics (with students as young as the fourth grade). Meanwhile at our Fayetteville Training Center, our good friends at CAST were leading a training session in Reality Capture technologies; cutting edge stuff. Our online trainings and classes are getting robust participation, too.
Last week, we opened our doors and invited the world to Encounter EAST! Over 300 guests stopped by to learn more about the work of the EAST Initiative and to see great examples of that work through the work of our students and facilitators. We are especially thankful to Harrison Junior High, Wynne High School, Greenbrier High School, North Little Rock Middle School and Pinnacle View Middle School for volunteering to share their work. And there was an ice cream truck…it was a blast.
Encounter EAST was the kickoff for our recruiting efforts and we’re pleased to announce that our Vision Building meetings have begun. We held the first one of the year this week and half of the schools that came to learn about EAST have applied for the Arkansas Department of Education grant already. If you know of a school that is interested in learning more about how to start an EAST classroom, the information for the next set of these is here.
Speaking of things to come…
Upcoming Activities and Northwest Arkansas Events
We are only a few weeks from EAST Night Out! Encounter EAST allowed the world to come into our headquarters and see the big picture of what we do; EAST Night Out is an opportunity for all our EAST schools to invite their community in and see the work they do at the local level. On behalf of our schools, we invite you to find an event near you and go see the amazing things happening in your area. The EAST Night Out website has gotten a fresh look. Feel free to admire it while you find an event near you (just click the link). We have more than 50 schools registered today with new ones being added almost daily. We’ll be on the road visiting as many as we can and hope to see you there, regardless of where “there” is.
We’ll also be traveling next week for the Arkansas STEM Coalition’s regional meeting Thursday in Rogers, which will be a think tank for business, education and community partnerships. Sounds right up our alley!
Finally, we’ll finish out the week at the Northwest Arkansas Technology Summit. This looks to be an incredible opportunity to hear some phenomenal national leaders from the tech world—names like Microsoft and IBM. We can’t wait to hear them, and of course we’ll be sharing our vision of technology and education with attendees as well.
Check back here for a full report on these last two! We’ll have it to you very shortly after the events. We’re excited about the goings on going on and can’t wait to tell you all about them.
EAST…it’s what’s happening!