Madison Public Library (MPL) and Madison Metropolitan School District (MMSD) have always been partners in education - whether through field trips, outreach to classrooms, or support of afterschool and summer programming.
However, in the last several years, the Bubbler at MPL has also stepped into the ring, supporting our schools in innovative ways. Since 2012, teen librarian Jesse Vieau and media instructor Nate Clark have coordinated with school librarians and teachers to bring stop motion animation into the classroom for creative storytelling and book trailer projects. After working with Toki, Whitehorse, Cherokee and O'Keeffe middle schools to name a few, the success of these ongoing collaborations have culminated in several more established annual projects directly related to curriculum standards.
Bubbler Making Spaces
In 2016, the Bubbler and MMSD embarked on the first year of the Making Spaces project - a national collaboration between libraries, museums and their local schools to support maker education in K-12 curriculum.
One of 10 national hubs, the Bubbler partnered with 6 schools - Huegel, Sandburg, and Franklin elementaries, Toki and Whitehose middles, and Capital high to provide initial strategic planning summits and ongoing professional development, digital media project collaboration, and fundraising support for their growing curriculum and programs.
The success and innovation of this program garnered local attention and support, catching the eye of TJ McCray, the new Director of Instructional Technology and Media Services at MMSD, as well as funding attention from the Schmidt Futures Foundation. In 2017, the Bubbler and MMSD formally agreed to continue the project for an additional 10 schools over 2 years.
Moreover, this partnership has spurred the district-wide Maker Space initiative, putting a maker space in every school, and on December 10th, 2018, Bubblerarian Rebecca Millerjohn lead professional development for over 60 district staff in the maker idea, pedagogical practices, and assessment techniques.
Media Academy at Capitol High
Beginning with an audio recording project with Bubbler media instructor Rob Franlkin (Rob Dz), the Bubbler's collaboration with MMSD's Capital High School has been innovative and ever evolving.
The success of the first year of the Bubbler's Making Spaces project not only secured funds for ongoing workshops with community artists at the high school, it also provided staff funding to hire our media instructor Rob Dz full time. This has allowed the library and Capital High to turn what once was a week long, student driven media project into a full quarter long curriculum in media development for credit.
In coordination with community partners like M.O.D. Media, Urban Community Arts Network (UCAN), and Oddly Arranged Media, teens drive the discussion about a social issue they want to address, and work to create a large scale media project to add their voice to the debate.
Initially piloted as a summer project within the libraries in 2017 & 2018, Media Academy and its partners now offer a platform for Capital High to include student voice, student choice and hands-on learning into the literacy curriculum.
Credit Recovery with Court-Involved Teens
In the spring of 2019, the Bubbler will enter into its 8th semester of partnership with Faisal Abdu’Allah's Fauhaus Project and the Neighborhood Intervention Program (NIP). Initially developed by the Bubbler and visiting UW professor Nancy Buenger as an initiative to make a court mandated program for at-risk youth more enriching and meaningful, the 14-week course has evolved into an avenue for credit recovery with local school districts. Students from around the county work with local and international artists to build a collection of artwork and ultimately plan and host a public exhibition.
With the immense help and research into credit recovery by Center for Public Humanities fellow, Dr. Marta-Laura Suska, the Bubbler and the Fauhaus project are bridging the divide between traditional and non-traditional educational spaces to further educational opportunity for some of the city's most opportunity deprived youth.