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Little learners dream big at Grandville’s Central Elementary School

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Central Elementary kindergarten, Grandville
Joy Walczak
Central Elementary kindergarten, Grandville

Dreams start early for kindergarteners in Rosi Corl’s Central Elementary kindergarten classroom in Grandville. See a gallery of the Dream Drawings young students created as they describe their hopes for the future.

JW: Joy Walczak, Host
RC: Rosi, Corl, Kindergarten Teacher, Central Elementary, Grandville Public Schools
K: Kindergarten students

JW: Welcome to the Your Dream is Our Dream podcast, where we celebrate student success one dream at a time. This program is made possible by Kent ISD in partnership with WGVU. I'm Joy Walczak, and I have with me today Rosi Corl, a kindergarten teacher at Central Elementary in Grandville. Welcome, Miss Corl. Thank you so much for having us. And, thank you for inviting us into your classroom, where we are actually surrounded by a great group of kindergartners. Can everyone say hello?

RC & K: Hello!

JW: Thanks so much for having us here. Miss Corl and I are going to have a quick conversation. What I'd love to know first, Miss Corl, is a little bit about your classroom and if you could tell us about the project that you've been working on with us here today.

RC: Well, today we have a Your Dream is Our Dream paper. And it really fits in well with our pillars for our school rules here at Central Elementary. Our pillars are be safe, be kind, be respectful, be responsible. And what I found with doing this activity is these kids are servants and they want to keep their community happy.

JW: That's really wonderful. We're going to hear a little bit about what our students are dreaming about. Can you share with us why it's important, even at this young age, to have conversations about what students are dreaming about and how?

RC: Well, what we're going to find with the pieces today, and with any young childhood, early childhood classroom, is that they have no boundaries on their dreams. So we can have anything from wanting to grow up and be a cat or a bat all the way to a police officer There are no boundaries in this classroom, and that's what makes this age so great.

JW: Terrific. Well, Miss Coral, could you maybe ask a student or two to share what their dreams are with us, nice and loudly?

RC: Anaya, what is your dream? She would like to be a baker.

JW: A baker? That's wonderful. And who else do we have here who might share a dream?

K: I draw a firefighter guy and police officer.

JW: That's wonderful. It sounds like you do have a servant heart just like Miss Corl said. How about you, what's your dream?

K: A bat.

JW: You want to be a bat? You drew a very good bat. I like your drawing a lot. There are so many different places that we are seeing their creativity shine. Can you tell me more about how education is really impactful in fostering dreams?

RC: Well, I think it's important that, especially in education, that we provide them with a variety of different texts and books that spur on the imagination so that they can go as far as they can with them. Also providing them experiences where they can express what they're dreaming about, and then making sure that we don't critique it on the other side of it. So I want to make sure that when these kids are dreaming, I'm not telling them what they're dreaming is unrealistic or can't really happen. We just want them to dream.

JW: Absolutely. And tell me about some of the skills they're building here at the earliest learning level that will help them make those dreams come true.

RC: Well, I think that one of the biggest things that we foster here in the classroom is that we have to continue to keep our community happy. And the skills that we do in the classroom and outside of the classroom all foster that type of attitude. And with that attitude, we can be anything that we want to be.

JW: We sure can. Absolutely. So students, can you tell me a little bit more about some of your dreams? How about this young man right here?

K: I drew my mom and me at the park and a tree.

JW: That sounds like a wonderful afternoon, doesn't it? How about you?

K: A firefighter jumper.

JW: A firefighter and somebody who can jump. Those are terrific dreams, too. The firefighter does jump, absolutely.

K: I wrote about me and my mom at the park.

RC: Just like Wesley?

JW: Yes, absolutely. Who do you have over here?

RC: I have. Madeline, Madeline, tell us about your dream.

K: Um, I'm dreaming about myself.

RC: Do you dream about yourself? What are you dreaming about yourself, honey?

K: It is me at the night, just myself when I was a doll.

RC: Oh, okay, you're drawing yourself at night? Yeah. And you have a beautiful picture here with the moon. I have both moons. You have two moons there.

K: Yeah.

RC: Wow, you're dreaming a lot about outer space, aren't you? Hmm, that's fun.

RC: Riam, tell us about your picture.

K: It's a mail truck. Mail truck.

RC: A mail truck, wonderful.

JW: You're going to serve our community by sharing the mail on a daily basis. That's wonderful. You did mention that service is part of the Granville community and the Bulldog pride here. Can you tell me a little bit more about how your school instills the need for service in our community and helping each other?

RC: Well, having that pillar, we celebrate the students that show us this monthly. We also do classroom awards daily by kids that show us those pillars in our classroom. We also talk about how our community changes as we leave the building. So our community isn't necessarily just in our classroom or just in our building. So we want to spread it outside. So, let's say that we're outside at our local store, that becomes our community. A place of worship, that becomes our community. So that is something that our school fosters and celebrates.

JW: That's wonderful. So how does hearing your students dreams influence the way you teach?

RC: The way that this project has turned out, it definitely will change the way that I present literature in my classroom. My books from this point on may be geared toward the services. Whereas in years past, if I would have had an astronaut or maybe an engineer or a lot of space work, I may gear my reading book towards this. Because, like adults, they want to hear stories that they are interested in.

JW: Absolutely, and they have a lot of stories to share. I want to thank you so much for allowing us into your classroom today. And I want to thank all of you students for sharing your dreams. Thank you everybody.

RC & K: Thank you!

JW: We will have a gallery of drawings on our website at KentISD.org, where we can see the work of these students. And if you would like to learn more about the Your Dream Is Our Dream project, there is also a section on the Kent ISD website where you can share your dream stories. And we would love to celebrate your students who are out there making their dreams come true at every level of education.

Thanks all of you for being here with me today. And thanks so much to everyone who's listening. The Your Dream Is Our Dream podcast is presented by Kent ISD in partnership with WGYU. Bye everyone!

RC & K Bye!

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