Troy’s Office of Civic Engagement is working to organize a series of discussions among students at Charles Henderson Middle School to encourage them to think critically about social norms, according to Lauren Cochran, the coordinator of the civic engagement office.
Through a partnership with the David Matthews Center for Civic Life, 21 student volunteers will facilitate a three-discussion series, said Kourtney Frye, a senior social science major from Monroeville who is an intern in the Office of Civic Engagement. Each discussion will last between 30 and 50 minutes.
Frye said the first discussion, which will take place on Feb. 15, will ask students to participate in a fictitious community building exercise.
“The students will be asked to choose three people from a pool of individuals of different race, religion, resources, abilities, etcetera, and the students will later be asked about the reasoning behind their choices,” Frye said.
A mock discussion was also held to make the volunteering students more familiar with the actual setting and logistics of the discussion.
Amari Garber, a sophomore social work major from Alabaster and program volunteer, said that a majority of her classes are structured in the same way as the discussions.
It will be a great experience to learn about the perspective of middle schoolers and effectively guide conversations among them, she said.