Anderson Issues

Commentary on the Zeitgeist

Anderson AVID and Austin Bat Cave

Posted by Mr. Earhart on January 17, 2012

I’m mostly posting the below video because I’m proud of myself and my students.  What is it about humans that makes being proud feel embarrassing?   It’s pretty stupid to have those emotions paired at the age of 30.  I digress.

So… for the past three years my AVID students have had the privilege of working with a local non-profit called Austin Bat Cave.  Austin Bat Cave is a literacy organization that encourages students to express themselves through creative writing.  Austin Bat Cave often brings musicians, authors, and other creative types into the classroom to work with students.  Some of my coolest moments as an educator have occurred during Bat Cave workshops, with many students sharing their writings/raps/drawings with their peers in a fashion that resembles an open mic night.  There is always great energy in the room for Bat Cave workshops, and I feel very lucky that my students get to work with such an outstanding organization.

We’ll be talking about education over the course of the next few weeks, and I must emphasize that Austin Bat Cave is part of the solution to the consistent failures of education in meeting the needs of students.  We can’t continue to ask teachers to do more than they already do; we need a more multifaceted approach, which includes asking the community to do more.

Anywho… the below video was filmed last Friday and Saturday.  Austin Bat Cave was paired with a local filmmaker (CORE Media) in a competition against nine other non-profits/filmmakers.  Teams had from noon on Friday until noon on Sunday to produce a 5 minute video.  All films were screened at the Alamo Drafthouse on South Lamar on Sunday evening, and I’m happy to say that our film won the jury prize, meaning some $ for Austin Bat Cave and automatic entry in a SXSW film event.  The film contest was in honor of National Service Day for MLK Day.  Details can be found here at the Austinist.

The film features Anderson AVID students, with significant contributions from juniors Unique Standberry and Xochitl Gonzalez.  If you know these students, please, congratulate them on a job well done.

3 Responses to “Anderson AVID and Austin Bat Cave”

  1. cr0uchingtiger said

    This post/ video left me feeling extremely sentimental and almost inspired. I was in one of Unique’s classes while she was being filmed for the video, and I was absolutely clueless as to what an incredible program she was participating in. I think the Bat Cave program in incredibly innovative and an incredible way to allow students to express themselves. I was moved by Unique’s reflection on how the program has completely changed her life, and I’m so glad that she found herself through writing.

  2. Jordann Phillips said

    I have had the privilege to witness the AVID classroom last year during their participation in Austin Bat Cave, while I was a Student as Teacher in the AVID class of freshmen and sophomores. I participated in the Bat Cave activities and was able to watch everyone write about their lives and reveal things about themselves that the people around them wouldn’t know from just looking at them. Everyone has a story and I think that Austin Bat Cave is an awesome way for the students of Anderson to tell theirs and to know that their voice is being heard. It was a really positive experience for me and seeing everyone share their experiences was really uplifting. Through the students and Austin Bat Cave, I learned that putting your thoughts on paper can be really important for self expression and it can give you a moment to recognize that you’re worthwhile. It made me feel important and that the work I do and what I have to say is good enough, almost in turn making me recognize that my life is good enough, which is a very powerful impact resulting from Austin Bat Cave.

  3. Juan Aguilera said

    I been in AVID for three years and i was wondering how come we never finish working with batcave during freshman year? i would of really like to work with them again.

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