Raul Yzaguirre School For Success [RYSS] - Harmony Hills Elementary Mentorship Workshop
[May 11, 2011]

Nineteen 7th grade students from Raul Yzaguirre School for Success [RYSS] traveled to Harmony Hills Elementary [San Antonio] to mentor nineteen third 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 second semester of this school year to make digital art for a project based on Grade 7 TEKS/TAKS Language Arts vocabulary.

Chambers takes student engagement and empowerment so seriously that most of 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 third student workshop. The first one was held last school year at Crespo Fine Arts Academy, and the second one was held first semester, this school year at T.H. Rogers School.

A link to photographs and a movie 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, third grade History teacher at Harmony Hills Elementary School:

"I want to take this opportunity to thank you and your fabulous seventh graders for making the trip to Harmony Hills, and teaching my third graders how to use the GIMP software. My kids were thrilled about the experience, and learned so much today! It was so exciting to see the kids (seventh and third graders) interacting and learning from each other. I am so happy with what they were able to do in such a short time. I have saved their biography projects, and will print them out in the next few days. The RYSS students are so fortunate to have such an outstanding instructor that provides such real-life experiences for his students. Several of my kids went home, and downloaded GIMP onto their home computers, and created some awesome pics! They were so inspired and empowered! I can't wait to do something like this again!"

RYSS - Harmony Hills Elementary Workshop movie

Click on player below [57MB; please allow loading time.].