By Carrie Kilman
Adams-Friendship High School sits in the center of Wisconsin, a few miles east of a national wildlife refuge, surrounded by farmland. Vincent High School, in Milwaukee, sits near the northern edge of the city, a few blocks from a highway. Two schools in the same state, separated by a three-hour car ride and a mile-long list of assumptions about what people “over there” are like.
Last spring, students from both schools spent a day together at the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point. It was the culmination of an online literature class called the UWSP Connections Project, led by pre-service teachers in professor Barbara Dixson’s English education course. In virtual classrooms, students read and discussed books that examined issues of race, class and geography.