Miracles Happen... This project was born of the magical curiosity of Bernajean Porter, (Bernajena Pinazzo) who spent four impromptu and intensive days at Suffern Middle School this spring. Our teachers dropped everything to participate in her workshops, and Kevin Jarrett and Marianne Malstrom (KJ Hax and Knowclue Kid) spent their Spring Break at our school, tirelessly working alongside our teachers and students. Four days, 50 minute classes, 75 students, and a lot of faith resulted in some amazing student work, and many important lessons learned for us, their guides along the way. The teachers, Jenn Fruhling, Liza Medina, and Julie Bujtas never gave up as the end of year testing and yet to be covered curriculum swallowed any time to devote to the project. Still they pushed onward, and the kids spent lunch hours, after school and home time getting their stories just right, and their voices recorded, and the photographs taken, and the movies filmed and edited! They are amazing young people! My promise to them was that their work would be shown to the world. Until Friday, June 20th, it appeared that I would not be able to keep that promise without a miracle. Last minute desperation inspired me to turn to the Second Life Educational Community. Friday, June 20th at 9’oclock EST, I sent out a note to to the Second Life Educational Community. By 9:36, I had my team, the land, and the build had begun. You can’t make this stuff up-- Desideria Stockton (Beth Ritter-Guth in RL) and Eloise Pasteur took over, and to quote Desideria “Tell those kids we’ve got their back!” They brought on another educator, Daliah Carter (Suzanne Kern in RL) and I called for Kayla Khan, who was one of the very first Ramapo Volunteers two years ago when the original islands were built. By Sunday afternoon, the build was 90% completed, including the kids’ movies streamed, their audio clips playing and their vision brought to life! Don’t EVER tell me that virtual relationships are lesser ones. Don’t EVER tell me that Second Life is insignificant or a passing phase, and don’t EVER tell me, that miracles can’t happen. My students, and those that will follow in their way, are richer for their experiences in Second Life, and I am richer for the friends i have made, the times I have spent with them, and the lessons learned here in the Metaverse. We thank you for stepping up in a time of great need, we thank you for your talent, we thank you for your selfless energy, but most of all, we thank you for caring about our students, and helping their voices find a home. -

With never ending gratitude,

Maggie Marat (Peggy Sheehy)


VISIT THE STORYWORLD NOW!: http://slurl.com/secondlife/Lehigh%20Carbon%20Island/13/104/31


Volunteer Builders:

Literature Alive! Staff - Desideria Stockton, CEO (BethRitterGuth@gmail.com), Eloise Pasteur, ED Designer (EloisePasteur@gmail.com), Daliah Carter, Assistant (DaliahCarter@gmail.com)

Kayla Khan from SL
Knowclue Kidd from SL

Locations:


Lehigh Carbon Island -


The Frost Garden - http://slurl.com/secondlife/Lehigh%20Carbon%20Island/34/101/31

Videos:
  1. The Risk
  2. Lost Summer
  3. A Free Bird Leaped
  4. The Choice

Information Boards:
  1. Robert Frost Biography
  2. The Road Not Taken by Robert Frost
  3. Maya Angelou Biography
  4. I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings - Maya Angelou

and

Story World http://slurl.com/secondlife/Lehigh%20Carbon%20Island/157/183/146



Staff Notes (from Peggy's email)

Story: Basically, the story about two teenage girls Jen and Sarah. Jen is bulemic and Sarah discovers this. The conflict in the story is whether or not Sarah tells someone about Jen's eating disorder.

Story starts at entrance platform where there are several newspaper headlines displayed - maybe flashing in and out that say things like "Teenage Eating Disorders on the Rise" and Young girl collapses at party from self-starvation" Bulimia: The Silent Killer" etc. Then the visitor hears the student recording of the first two stanzas of the Frost poem (we already have these recorded) As the visitor moves into the first hallway of the story world they are immersed inside a "whisper globe" where they hear "What should I do? What should I do?" One idea is to have the hallways replicate a school hall- lined with lockers and the triggers might cause a locker to open which would have the images or sounds --The image on the globe is one of Sarah holding her head in her hands with a worried look on her face. (We are taking these pics tomorrow Fred!) then the visitor enters the first hallway where images are displayed showing a group of teens in the fall, in the winter, Spring and in each the girl Jen is visibly sad, head hanging down - getting thinner and more haggard looking while the other teens are all lively and happy - in the summer shots they all have summery clothes on but Jenn is in a hoody and baggy sweats. The whispers (audio files) are the kids gossiping "what's up with Jen? She looks so different -- she never eats" she's acting so weird etc. as the visitor reaches the first corner to turn into the next leg of the cube-they enter a movie globe where a short film is playing of Sarah walking into the girl's room and catches Jen forcing herself to throw up--JeSarah screams "What are you doing??" and Jen screams back "Please don't tell! Please don't tell!" Stepping out of the globe and continuing down the next hallway is where the conflict is displayed - . Text and audio files of "what should I do?" I don't want her to hate me" What if she never speaks to me again, what if she dies, what will the kids think? Maybe it's not so bad etc. " Proceeding down to the next corner where there is a booth of sorts and the visitor is asked "What would you do? There are then two paths one marked "tell" and one marked, "don't tell" The path to the right (Tell) will take the visitor through a series of images text and sounds that reflect the kids shunning Sarah - calling her a rat etc. and will conclude with images and sounds of Jen being taken away in an ambulance, maybe with an image of a hosptal in the distance. The visitor then has the option of either teleporting back to the tell/don't tell area and going down the left hand side where the images and sounds are reflecting the kids being sad and all upset whispers "DId you hear about Jen? She might die she's so sick - it may be too late " but also- the kids will be saying things like "I can't believe Sarah knew all along and DIDn't ay anything " She could have saved Jen!" etc. This left side path leads to a hearse, maybe with a graveyard in the distance. The visitor concludes the experience by stepping into the "exit room" where they can leave comments and read other remarks from other visitors (some starter remarks will be prepared already) and the audio is the student reading of the last two verses of the Frost poem. The lesson learned could be marqueed or displayed in some manner: "The most important decisions, are the hardest ones to make" We are envisioning thought bubbles, text prompts, audio files triggered at certain locations, "ghost images" music and anything else to awaken the story through al of the senses...