Shared Experiences: Cityside Students + Community Partners

February 25, 2021

Eighth-grade students in the Cityside program at Wheeler are looking through the COVID lens this year to develop inquiry-based projects that examine how the pandemic has impacted the Providence community. Ranging from environmental to city planning, walkability, and public art, these Citysiders engage with local non-profits, NGOs, and businesses to ask BIG questions and develop meaningful solutions.

What students think of Cityside

“I love the projects we are doing to help make Providence a better place. For example, my group is working on the environmental issues in Providence, and we plan to make a Podcast and post it on EcoRI, a website that posts environmental news for Providence.”

I am learning about how to take things in our world today and finding the STORIES beneath them. I am also developing my research, note-taking, and fieldwork skills.”

“Open-ended projects are something that I really enjoy. We can study what we are passionate about, and it’s great to know that our teachers have faith that we are able to choose a good project.”

What Cityside Community Partners are saying

“I am happy to say that Wheeler School’s Cityside Program is bringing so much wonderful multi-faceted and positive attention to a northern Elmwood neighborhood in the Southside of Providence. The students have found ways to support identified neighborhood betterment and livability initiatives. At the same time, the students are following their own interests that involve the more on-the-ground/ practical aspects of the work such as art-making, along with research/ scholarship, the creation of podcasts, and publication.” – Doug Victor, Community Activist

I was impressed with how prepared, professional, and polite the students were when they interviewed me about Beautiful Day’s work with refugees in Rhode Island. Their questions were thoughtful and demonstrated that they had researched the organization beforehand. They listened attentively and responded with good follow-up questions. And they expressed concern for refugees and a desire to make the world a better place. It’s nice to know that young people care so deeply.” –Rebecca Garland, Beautiful Day RI

“Cityside is an amazing opportunity for youth! As an urban planner who wasn’t even aware of the field’s existence until my early 20s, I think immersing young minds in the complex challenges and joys of city life will position them to be the critical thinkers and problem solvers we need to lead the transition to a more equitable and sustainable future.” – Liza Burkin, Providence Streets Coalition

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