NORTH ADAMS, Mass. ー The E3 Academy will be opening an interactive exhibition that covers social and civil rights issues in connection to the community of North Adams.
"The Many Faces of North Adams" opens on Thursday, May 3, with a reception from 5:30 to 7 p.m. at the MCLA Design Lab, 49 Main St. It runs through May 29.
The E3 Academy, which stands for Effort, Employability and Essential skills and knowledge, is a competency-based program of Drury High School. The program features a non-traditional classroom setup using service-learning projects for students at risk of leaving school.
Through the work on this service learning project, students developed a variety of academic skills, including research, writing, critical thinking, graphing, and functions.
The exhibit uses the concept of quilting to bring together the history of the Civil Rights movement, the students' experiences and the invitation for viewers to share their own thoughts.
"It weaves together the community, who we are, who they are," said school adjustment counselor Abby Reifsnyder, who heads the academy.
Some of the pieces include a paper "quilt" highlighting local diversity; writings and photographs of special places in North Adams threaded together; a cloth quilt featuring the students with spots for viewers to add their own thoughts; and graphs and charts reflecting demographic data about the city.
"When we were studying the Civil Rights Movement, I was interested in learning how strong people can be to stand up and speak when they see something is wrong," said senior Tieray Moore. Senior Emily Rivers wrote she "liked learning about photography from Joe Manning. He made it personal."
Joe Manning is a local historiographer from Florence who has been helping the students of E3 prepare their photography pieces for the exhibit.
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