Thursday, June 29, 2017


Welcome to #LastStopLI project based on the book Last Stop on Market Street.

*Celebrate the uniqueness of Long Island communities
*Create connections between educators on Long Island
*Create connections among students on Long Island

The idea for LastStopLI began at #EdCampldr (2016) after I facilitated the session #BreakingNews  - How to talk about social issues in education centered around race.  As Monique (@MDarrisawAkil) shared in her blog , "the session was devoted to discussing the recent racial unrest in our country caused by the deaths of Black men by the hands of the police and then the murder of five policemen in Texas. What ensued was a thoughtful conversation that acknowledged not only the pain that we feel but the confusion about the role of educators in tackling this topic in the classroom. We debated what we should discuss with students; who is responsible for vetting the message?”  We ended the conversation by asking what's next – and the idea of a LI student book study began.  I thought, perhaps starting small and breaking down the invisible walls that exist between children and communities on Long Island is better than not starting at all.  Thanks to the book suggestion from JoEllen (@JoEllenMcCarthy), brainstorming with Alejandro (@A_RiveraNY) & Rosa (NieveslrRosa), discussions around racial discourse with Don (donald_gately) and technical support from Lisa (@LParisi)- here we are.  

  The How, Why, and What's Next of #laststopli can be anything and everything WE make it.  
The project will run for the 2016-2017 school year.  
All tweets should include #LastStopLI

Thanks to all of the teachers that collaborated with pen pals across Long Island.  However, there is one teacher, Ms. Susan Piano, that deserves a special shout-out for really embracing the #laststopli idea with her partnership teacher, Ms. Foley.  Together they had their classes from Uniondale and Farmingdale write each other, share videos with each other (Video Video 2), Skype with each other, and ultimately visit with each other with a meet-up at the end of the school year.  Here's Sue Paino's reflection: 

Our pen pal experience with Ms. Foley's second grade class at Albany Avenue Elementary was an amazing, moving, inspirational experience that's hard to even put into words.  Two different communities of children cam together and were instant best friends...hugging, holding hands, etc. They did Venn diagrams together and the similarities they cam up with outweighed the differences. This is the beauty of working with young children.  They only know love.  They see color.  They know they are a different color than another, but they don't see it as an issue.  That's a learned behavior.  This is why it's so important that we as educators instill and nurture a sense of acceptance in our students and seal the gap that may come along as they grow older and other influences may try and get in the way of their thinking.  The love and acceptance of our children should be an inspiration to us all.  

Check out a few #laststopli tweets: 

Did you join the #laststopli initiative?  Do you think projects like this can really make a difference?  Why or why not?  Please comment or  tweet/share your reflections using #laststopli. 

1 comment:

Karen H. said...

Thank you, Doc Sheilah! I am honored to have two of my Tweets about #laststopli included in this post. I can't say enough about how this project encouraged my students to read, write, and to wonder about "their friends" in another town. They want to continue next year!