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On Monday, June 16th, thirteen middle and high school students enrolled in the Chatham County Migrant Education Program began their day in a new way. Instead of rolling out of bed and going to school or work, or hanging around the house, they found themselves in the woods at Triangle Training Center, near Pittsboro. Surrounded by new friends, trees, and supportive staff, the students were offered a range of physical and mental challenges that tested their creativity, trust, and decision-making skills, culminating in the ascent of a 45’ rock wall.

And that was only the beginning. In the afternoon of their first day, the students met Jorge Montero, a professor of Graphic Design at Savannah College of Art and Design, who introduced them to elements of visual communication and graphic design. With the newfound cooperation skills, the students were challenged to develop a plan for graphically presenting an important social issue.

The next morning offered more physical challenges, as students again learned collaboration skills in group activities focused on negotiating various physical obstacles in order to arrive at a final challenge. Each student had an opportunity to play various roles in the dynamics of their group. That afternoon, students continued their work in graphic design and presentation.

On Wednesday, the students began their day by completing their social awareness posters. Professor Montero added his expertise to help students perfect the messages of their posters. The afternoon again presented the students with physical challenges, including traversing a series of cables with a partner 30’ above the ground and climbing onto a tall platform and jumping off(well harnessed). This became a metaphor for the “leap of faith” that it takes to achieve one’s goals.

The students finished their three days of excitement and adventure with a process of reflection and sharing. This had been a week unlike any other summer week, a week of challenge, excitement, trust, hope, cooperation, courage, and dreams.

To see a QuickTime movie of the program, click here.

(pdf, 1.17mb)


Paula Tillotson-Sanchez, director of the Migrant Education Program of Rockingham County, recently visited our nation's capitol to accept the Program Excellence Honors award from the Reading Is Fundamental organization. The award is presented annually to local Reading Is Fundamental programs that have advanced children's literacy in their communities and helped families discover the joys of reading. The library's Outreach Department partnership with the Migrant Program won the award for their Drop-In Library program.