Equity Task Force

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Fernway’s Shaker Makers Building Bridges

April 5, 2017 — There’s a lot of bridge building going on at Fernway Elementary school – literally and figuratively speaking. At an after-school Shaker Makers club, 24 fourth-graders have been designing and building bridges over the past five weeks using popsicle sticks, glue, a ruler, and their ingenuity. Their mission? To build relationships with one another as cooperative problem solvers, while constructing a bridge that is at least 14 inches long and can bear some weight.

The program is led by two Shaker parents, Andrea Boyd and Julie Kaufman, who had observed that students from different backgrounds don’t always have opportunities to socialize with one another outside of school.

Says Kaufman, “The primary goal of Shaker Makers is to create connections and foster friendships among students from different cultural, ethnic and racial backgrounds in an after-school setting.” The students are also getting the opportunity to practice International Baccalaureate attributes like risk-taking, inquiry and communication.

The students will proudly display their inventions at the community-wide Shaker Makers event sponsored by the City of Shaker Heights on April 22 at The Dealership, 3558 Lee Rd., from 10 am – 5 pm. This free, family-friendly event invites visitors to learn, discover, create and play with other makers and creators who will be exhibiting their work. Stop by and cheer on the Fernway Shaker Makers!

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