Raul Yzaguirre School For Success [RYSS] - Harmony Hills Elementary Mentorship Workshop
[October 9, 2012]

Twenty-two 7th grade students from Raul Yzaguirre School for Success [RYSS] traveled to Harmony Hills Elementary [San Antonio] to mentor twenty-one second grade students in the use of graphics software to create digital art.

The RYSS students learned how to use the software from Tom R. Chambers, Technology Applications teacher. They used the software during the first semester of this school year to make digital art for a project based on other RYSS students' nature photographs via the Houston Audubon Society. They also made their art for silent auction at the Tejano Center for Community Concerns/Raul Yzaguirre School for Success Gala to help raise money for education and community programs.

Chambers takes student engagement and empowerment seriously. What is learned and produced transcends the classroom and school system to have community and international impact. As a result, his students are motivated to do more, and in this case, they became mentors for students at another school.

This mentorship process involved an intensive session of learning/practicing, and project application to make digital art. The RYSS seventh grade students succeeded in not only keeping the attention of the Harmony Hills Elementary students, but also making them comfortable with the software and producing gratifying results. The two groups were so engaged throughout the day that the teachers present during the process seemed secondary. The RYSS students had successfully gained a skill, and were empowered to convey what they knew to others.

This mentorship project between RYSS and Harmony Hills Elementary is the sixth student workshop at various schools.

A link to photographs and a slide show follow to indicate the degree of activity and working relationship between the RYSS and Harmony Hills Elementary students:


Note: click on thumbnails to view larger images.

Message from Yolanda Vanness, second grade teacher at Harmony Hills Elementary School:

"A million thanks to you and your students! They are such leaders and positive role models!"

The above photograph shows the Digital Art by the second grade students. They put together a montage about their mascot, the hawk. It is on permanent display in the hallway of their school.

RYSS - Harmony Hills Elementary Workshop slide show

Click on player below [4MB; please allow loading time.].