KIPPsters at the Capitol

Posted Tuesday, April 18, 2017

On Thursday, a group of KIPPsters from KIPP Denver Collegiate High School and KIPP Northeast Denver Leadership Academy attended the 2017 Colorado League of Charter School Advocacy Day. Students spent the morning learning about how bills become law in Colorado, and how they can make their voices heard on issues that are important to them. 

While at the Capitol, KIPPsters spent time on the floor of the State Senate, where they heard arguments about bills that dealt with taxes, healthcare, and privacy rights. Senator Angela Williams spoke to the students about what the Senate was working on that day, and about her support for charter public schools. Senator Owen Hill also joined the group to talk about the business of the day. 

After a tour of the Capitol, KIPPsters heard from the people who work in the Office of Legislative Legal Services about their role in drafting legislation. Observing the State House of Representatives and chatting with State Representative James Coleman rounded out the morning before KIPPsters headed back to school. 

Throughout, KIPPsters discussed the importance of Senate Bill 61—a measure that would ensure equal funding for charter public schools along with all public school choices. That measure had recently passed the Senate, and was waiting for a committee assignment in the House. 

For more photos of KIPPsters at the Capitol, click here



Tags: KIPP Denver Collegiate High School , KIPP Northeast Denver Leadership Academy

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Challenge Day at KIPP Colorado

Posted Thursday, September 15, 2016

What happens when you ask an entire class of KIPPsters to spend a full day devoted to dropping labels, judgments, and walls and working to build one another up by creating a supportive environment at school? 
For 9th and 10th grade students at KIPP Denver Collegiate High School and KIPP Northeast Denver Leadership Academy, the answer came during Challenge Day, a program designed to help students forge deep connections with their peers and build a school culture of respect and acceptance. 
The day started out with music, games, and tons of high-energy activities to help KIPPsters get to know as many of their fellow classmates as possible. After dancing, running, and a game of giant volleyball, KIPPsters gathered as a group to hear Challenge Day leaders share their stories of growing up, followed by a discussion about how people often don’t see what’s really going beneath the image that people project.
After lunch—and more games—KIPPsters split up into small “family groups,” where they could choose to share something that people might not know about them. Around the circle, students and the adult facilitators shared stories that started with, “if you really knew me, you would know…” It was a powerful exercise, and each day, many emotions rose within the family groups.
The afternoon was dedicated to addressing concepts like oppression, discrimination, and equity through activities that allowed KIPPsters and adult facilitators to express themselves in a safe, supportive atmosphere. 
Finally, at the end of a long, intense day, KIPPsters pledged to be the change they want to see in their schools. Armed with a new understanding of both the previously-unseen challenges faced by their peers and the tools to make their school a supportive and loving environment, KIPPsters now begin their school year with a plan to treat each other with respect and love. 
Students and adults alike attest that Challenge Day was a powerful, deeply moving experience, and one that provided an important avenue for empathy and understanding. 
“Many students realized that they all are going though struggles right now,” said Rachael Bibby, Director of School Operations at KNDLA. “They learned they can lean on one another in a way they never knew they could before.”
We’re grateful to all the volunteers who helped make Challenge Day possible for students at both KIPP Colorado high schools. 

Tags: KIPP Denver Collegiate High School , KIPP Northeast Denver Leadership Academy

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