Giving students the power to be agents of change.
WHO WE ARE
Erase the Space is a non-profit organization formed by Derek Burtch, an English teacher at Olentangy Liberty High School in Powell, Ohio, and Amelia Gordon, a former English teacher at Columbus South High School in Columbus, Ohio.
WHAT WE DO
Facilitate a year-long writing exchange between our respective classrooms in order to help repair public discourse. Students write letters and opinion pieces, communicate via Twitter and gChat, and ultimately meet in person. Working in teams (two students from each school), students develop an idea to get teenagers from different backgrounds and areas of our city together authentically to have a discourse on problems facing their community. Our focus for the past two years has been the segregation of Columbus. They present their ideas to a panel of community leaders in May.
- Teach students to interact with people from different backgrounds and different life experiences with empathy and respect.
- Engage students in project-based learning with real-world implications.
- Bring teachers from different districts together to work collaboratively.
- Study how young people communicate in writing, online, and in person, and learn how to teach young people to communicate effectively in the workforce.
- Erase the space between people living in the same metropolitan area to bridge the divide between disparate communities and foster the idea of a larger community.