Raul Yzaguirre School For Success [RYSS] - Junior and Primary Academies Mentorship Workshop
[December 13, 2011]

Seventh grade students mentored fifth grade students in the use of graphics software [GIMP (freeware Photoshop equivalent)] to create digital art.

The 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 the Junior Academy's "Core Values" [Honor, Responsibility, Commitment, Citizenship] theme.

Chambers takes student engagement and empowerment so seriously that most of what is learned and produced transcends the classroom to have an impact. As a result, his students are motivated to do more, and in this case, they became mentors for students at the RYSS Primary Academy.

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 fifth grade students, but also making them comfortable with the software and producing gratifying results. The two groups were so engaged throughout the session 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 the Junior and Primary Academies at RYSS is the fourth student workshop. The previous three were held at Harmony Hills Elementary School [San Antonio], T.H. Rogers School [Houston] and Crespo Fine Arts Academy [Houston].

Photographs follow to indicate the degree of activity and working relationship between the RYSS students [note: primary students' faces pixelated until release forms signed]: