During Exhibitions of Learning (EoLs) at IDEAS Academy, a group of dedicated students volunteer their time to keep everything running smoothly and efficiently. Volunteer positions include curating the gallery for gallery walks, timing presentations, ushering at Jake’s Cafe, managing sound equipment, and introducing presenters.
Sara Bartol, a junior who ushered at Jake’s Cafe for EoLs, talked about the importance of participation within the community at the Étude Schools.
“IDEAS allows students to participate not only through classes and projects, but through involvement like EoL volunteering that assists in how the school functions. Being able to take on roles like this one goes a long way in engaging students in their education by involving them in the school community. As high school students, we're beginning to find more agency, and learning how not to rely solely on adults to run everything for us. Because we're going to have to be the adults in the near future,” she said.
Volunteering allows students the chance to step out of their typical roles as presenters and engage in the process of professional experiences.
Hannah Staats, a senior who curated gallery walks at the John Michael Kohler Arts Center, had the responsibilities of helping artists set up their work, determining gallery layout, and encouraging the full participation and feedback of the audience for the presenters.
“I kind of operate on the expectation that everyone will fill at least one volunteer position, but this one in particular appeals to me because it has a little bit of creative agency with a focus on helping people,” Staats said of why she volunteered. “With any aspect of our school culture, we can't sit back and assume that someone else will do what needs to be done. We all have to step up, especially to put on ambitious events like EoLs.”
Students will have another opportunity to volunteer at the Spring Exhibitions of Learning on May 23 and May 25.
Showcases of the presentations that volunteers help make happen can be found on The Étude Group YouTube Page: