2015 Bezos Scholar Elizabeth Yost and educator Christopher Maly used their Local Ideas Festival, Fork in the Road, to connect Lincoln High School English Language Learning (ELL) and International Baccalaureate (IB) students through writing, the arts, and cultural exchange.
Fork in the Road was a week-long festival that started with members of the resettled Iraqi refugee community and Lincoln High School alumni participating in a panel discussion. The following day featured high school students sharing their experiences, hopes, and dreams through a student-run drama production. Then, students created pinwheels in support of the Student's Rebuild Healing Classroom Challenge that benefited the International Rescue Committee's Healing Classrooms program supporting Syrian refugee children. Continuing the week, scholar and journalist Christopher Benson lectured on the impact of social reconstruction after the Holocaust and critical theories regarding social conflict during three school-wide assemblies. Later that evening, the school hosted a student film festival focused on Internationalism. On Friday, students connected to discover common interests through a mixer event called Links on the Green. Fork in the Road culminated on Saturday of that week with the naturalization of 20 new American citizens and cultural celebrations and performances at a local theatre.
“It was a powerful week and it accomplished exactly what we set out to do: build a collaborative student team who actively worked at creating learning and living moments for our community,” notes Elizabeth.