Hood River Middle School: Designing Waves

hraudience1It takes a certain skill and courage to launch into a huge wave, there’s a lot of ways the ride could go.  On Friday, November 20, our education program developer and training facilitator, Judy Shasek, launched into her own type of wave.  It was the last class of the last day before Thanksgiving break. Imagine 300 energetic and excited middle school students pouring into their school auditorium revved up and looking forward to a long break from school.
The students had the power of a wave cresting – how would they react to sitting quietly for an hour and watching THE SUP MOVIE? Shasek stepped onto the stage with butterflies, then immediately the students settled into a quiet and attentive group. It wasn’t magic – it was a culmination of many things. hrout

Principal, Brent Emmons, and the teachers have a culture of respect fully expected and the students  honored that. In addition, all the students had enjoyed a full preparation for the movie. They did the pre-film activities that are part of “It’s YOUR Wave – Ride It.” They knew that their own dreams and goals were as much a part of the experience to come as the surfing and adventures being shared in the movie.

Education Program and trainer, Judy Shasek, prepping for the event at Hood River Middle School.
Education Program and trainer, Judy Shasek, prepping for the event at Hood River Middle School.

Here’s how the event went according to Shasek,”It was a great experience working with principal, Brent Emmons, and the staff at Hood River Middle School. The teachers had showed a 13-slide program to prep the students for experiencing THE SUP MOVIE. The slides were accompanied by a script that explained things as Kai Lenny would have done – if he had been there. Then the students did a survey that invited them to notice things like the powerful sound track in the film and universal themes like creating a life that opens opportunities to dreams and goals.

The students watched in rapt attention for the entire film. While most were not surfers or paddlers, they were totally engaged. Before the start of the film we talked about their dreams. They could be musicians, artitsts, authors or athletes. Maybe they would become builders of houses, designers of cars or aeronautics. They could be teachers or ranchers, fishermen or whatever connected with their talent and passion.  I think they felt very connected to Kai and that enhanced the experience of watching THE SUP MOVIE.

Kai Lenny inspiring youth at the 2014 CGPC Positively Kai event
Kai Lenny inspiring youth at the 2014 CGPC Positively Kai event

When the students return to school they will do a reflection worksheet with their classmates. A few who might become especially inspired will be invited to go one step further in describing their dream and how they hope to make that life journey a reality. We have activities and support that will provide the students with community connection and tools for that journey.

None of this could happen without the support of the Kai Lenny Foundation – and the engagement of school staff.  I am blessed to be able to do this work.”

hrkaiWe have all heard the Chinese proverb, ‘Give a man a fish and he will eat for a day; teach a man to fish and he will eat for a lifetime.” The very youth we hope to impact and inspire were the catalyst toward the development of some of the most valuable pieces of the “It’s YOUR Wave – Ride It” program activities. To learn more about how that development occurred, take a look at “Wave Dreams – Wave Ripples.

Stay tuned – this story is not over.