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  • Elliot Washor

Elliot Washor's TGIF: Are you with me now? 4.16.21

Carlos, Charlie and I had another wonderful session with Career and Technical Advisors and Directors from South Carolina on Get Real!

How can our little graphic novel create such a broad range of talking points? It was great to be part of and hopefully lots more to come. Thanks Crishell for making it happen.

Maddie’s voyage continues on The Oliver Hazzard Perry – She is due back to Maine in June. Here’s her Go Fund Me page as one way to keep up with her voyage and learnings at sea.

Right now, we have 95% of our Fellows completing their HFF. Many are working outside of school in safe environments doing what they would normally do. Some are also online. Somehow with public school students from all over and not just in BPL schools we’ve managed to have students do their internships. What does that say about the work and the Fellows? Listening to all the stories we all hear in the news about the real traumas that our children are facing perhaps more schools should have ad students facing out and learning what they want to learn.


Today Sonn set up my first Zoom with principals from the different BPL regions in preparation for Big Bang and Phase 2 of BPLiving. On the Zoom were principals: Brenda Diaz, Alison Montiel and Sheila Carves. To my pleasant surprise all them knew what was going on with BPLiving at their schools and all were ready for a Phase 2 that will involve advisory, exhibitions, learning plan sand Who Am I Projects that incorporate ACLM’s Six measures. There were many wellness programs that already started during COVID that were part of their schools. These include: Outdoor Education that impact well-being; kitchen offerings involving farm to school offerings of foods students had never eaten before but found out they loved; and food photography. It was great news that these programs happening at each school but through our talk today I found out that their work is being connected across schools. Andrew Coburn from the Met is visiting Sheila’s schools and doing workshops for staff when he visits his parents in St Louis. His advisory was already connected to Alison’s in Ft. Smith. That’s the power of the network/meshwork driven by BPLiving students.

For me, it is never just the intentional connections we make with BPLiving but the unintentional consequences that happen when work we do spreads on its own because it has meaning to those involved. Here Mingling With, Muddling Through and Mattering To are essential parts of developing wellness. In our work: There’s always a plan but it changes. “We make plans and God Laughs.”

A few hours later, I was at our BPLiving student meeting where our group was preparing a letter and video to Dr. Fauci regarding his comments about COVID and pre-existing conditions. We did the background checks and we cannot find where Dr. Fauci ever mentions that these pre-existing conditions can many times be prevented and managed through lifestyle changes and changes in our healthcare system. This knowledge needs to get out and our group is hoping Dr. Fauci delivers the message.

This Fast Company article, How US Schools Proved Jonas Salk’s polio Vaccine was Safe is once again an example of how children played a major role in moving society to the prevention of polio.

What will be different when we go back to school?

Now that we are going back to school has the school schedule take into account what we all know that

chronic sleep deprivation is connected to higher risk for depression and obesity? What are we doing about this?


We have our first Project inSight Fellow with more in the pipeline. David Benitez lives in the Sonnshine State. He came through an organization called Path to College connected to his Health Science Academy where we have two other upcoming fellows. His interest in the field comes from a connection to a member of his family who has low vision. His internship is at an optometric office where he has done a ton of work. As with most of our Harbor Freight Fellows, our Project Insight Fellows really don’t want to have virtual internships. As COVID subsides, our Project InSight Fellows are going to get to clinics for the real deal. This is very interesting data from both Harbor Freight and Project InSight Fellows and runs counter to adults talking about how virtual internships are as good. One more thing, the medical field is one that does not like to take young interns but as Andrea and Carrie point out with our Fellows now in clinics, we suspect that their confidence in younger interns and their opinions in their capabilities change. How does a mentor’s confidence grow when they have a young intern?

I’ll let Andrea and Carrie give more details about all the things going on at ProjectInSightFellows but once again, another internship program is taking off despite COVID. We Bring Education to Life and We Bring Life to Education


Next week, Pam, Anthonette and I will present to the San Clemente Chamber of Commerce the program design and finances of B-Unbound. This will be our first pilot site.

And, next week the work begins with a group of schools led by Loren from the Pacific Northwest on the International Big Picture Learner Credential (IBPLC). Viv and a group of her staff will be facilitating. The IBPLC is one piece of work where as Joey the Lips says, “I believe in starts, the rest is inevitable.”

Be Well!


Elliot Washor Co-founder of Big Picture Learning

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