PCC Founder Receives MWPC Lifetime Achievement Award

Thirty years before Marge Schiller founded the Positive Change Core, Marge founded the Massachusetts Women’s Political Caucus.  On October 10, the MWPC honored Marge and presented her with the Dolores L. Mitchell Lifetime Achievement Award at the MWPC’s annual tribute to Abigail Adams event.  Massachusetts Senate President Therese Murray introduced Marge at the event. In addition to comments Marge made about the amazing intergenerational work of MWPC, Marge is also so impressed by three women who help the MWPC advance its mission that she captured a picture of the three with here phone: MWPC Executive Director Priti Rao (right),  MWPCP Associate Director Marissa Szabo (left), and MWPC Office Manager Jessica Gibbons. 

Here is a copy of the thoughts Marge shared upon receiving this award:


“Right now, I am ‘blown away’ by the Massachusetts Women’s Political Caucus because

you help us hold up our half of the sky here in our State and in Massachusetts’ cities and towns.

 When we started the caucus, it was to get more women into local state and national political offices. It did not matter if they were Republicans or Democrats. Political party was irrelevant. What did matter was finding the women who represented women’s issues. We wanted to protect and extend women’s lives and rights.

Is it deja vu all over again or are we having some of the same women’s rights conversations again that we had 41 years ago? We like to believe that women in the USA have equality. But is that completely true?

 When we started our political caucus many of us were about the same age, some of us had our mothers and mother-in-laws around …I don’t remember many daughters.   But now I see our daughters and granddaughters (and Grandsons) working with us.   Maybe they are not our blood relatives, but I believe the success and sustainability of  this organization is because it is an intergenerational organization.

 We are vibrant and relevant because ‘youngers’ and ‘olders’ and those of you in the middle are here.

 This is a big honking deal. I work with groups in schools, in business, and in community organizations that talk about why intergenerational conversations are valuable, but they have trouble putting the idea into practice.

 Segregation by age groups is rarely challenged. Now it is called multi-generational….focusing in on the demographics and buying patterns by age: teens do this, tweens do that, and the elderly… well don’t get me started.  I will soon be 75 and (using multigenerational language) I am not a “Traditional.” That is a label I will not wear.

 The Massachusetts Women’s’ Political Caucus is an intergenerational example. MWPC walks the intergenerational talk. Young leaders are not just separate, but equal. These young leaders are integrated and integral. Look at the under 30 staff, Priti, Marissa and Jessica. They are the heart, soul and positive core of this organization.

 I believe this organization will stay vibrant alive and sustainable for 40 more years if there is meaningful inclusion of young people. That is foundational to sustainability… because we are wiser when experience and resources come together with new technologies and ideas.”


PCC Adds Social Media Presence

The Positive Change Core is an organization that hopes to foster the sharing and discussion of events, ideas, news, and contributions related to our mutual interest in strengths-based approaches for schools, youth, and education. In an effort to continue to help do this, PCC invites all who are interested to join in our newly created spaces on Facebook, Twitter, and/or LinkedIn in addition to our website. Be sure to Like PCC, Follow PCC, or add PCC to your network!  Links to the PCC social media sites are at the bottom of the website.

New PCC Website

The PCC website has a new look, and upcoming events are planned that will likely continue to cause us to further evolve the online presence of PCC.  Join the conversation and, if you would like, be ready to help us determine what comes next!

How Appreciative Inquiry Makes a Difference in Education

Marge and JoyceRecently the Inquiry Institute conducted an interview with Marge Schiller and Joyce Lemke, two of our well-known PCC members.

Between them, Marge and Joyce have conducted 15 Education focused Appreciative Inquiry Summits, ranging from 50-700 participants.

In this conversation they discuss some of what they have learned and the importance of strength-based schools.

You can listen to the podcast here. (24 minutes)  If you are interested in strength-focused approaches in schools, it will be very well worth your time! 🙂


Skype in the Classroom

Skype in the Classroom is a website taking advantage of the global reach of Skype to connect teachers around the globe!

As the site explains:

Skype in the classroom is a free community to help teachers everywhere use Skype to help their students learn. It’s a place for teachers to connect with each other, find partner classes and share inspiration. This is a global initiative that was created in response to the growing number of teachers using Skype in their classrooms.

Once teachers create a profile that sets out their interests, specialties and location, they can create projects. Projects are a way for teachers to find partner classes, partner teachers or guest speakers for a specific learning activity. You can browse through projects or even search by keyword, which makes it easy for teachers to share expertise and collaborate on projects even when they don’t already know each other.

Teachers can also browse through a members-only directory to find teachers who can offer them help, or whom they might be able to help. Once teachers find someone they’d like to connect with, they can add that person as a Skype contact. There’s also a directory of resources to help teachers share inspiring videos, links and tips around using in their classrooms.

While there is a lot you can do on Skype in the classroom, there are also a few things you can’t do. This is a community for educators to work on education-related endeavours. It is not a place intended for personal projects or for anything from which you might make any commercial gain.

Using their Skype accounts, teachers can collaborate on projects, connect with other teachers around the world and discover new inspiration for their classrooms.

The site is young – it was launched at the end of March, so is only two months old. But at time of writing, you can already find over 12,000 teachers, 500 projects and 450 resources on the site.

Well worth a visit for any teacher!

Via Marge Schiller,
from Adrienne O’Neill and Joseph Rochford
of the Stark Education Partnership

Hip Hop Genius: Remixing High School Education

Here is a wonderful video, created by Sam Siedel.

It illustrates … literally! … the concept of “Hip Hop Genius” – a way of viewing the transformation of education.

As Sam says on the Vimeo website:

.. Drawings were done by Mike McCarthy, a student at College Unbound , a school that exemplifies many of the values espoused in the film. the entire video was shot in College Unbound’s seminar space, where Mike has built a studio for his company Drawn Along .

The end sequence was shot by Graham Wheeler, a recent graduate of the East Bay Met, a high school that also embodies many of the principles of Hip Hop Genius. Graham and Mike edited the whole video as well.

The beat at the end was made by DJ Tek, who worked with me at the AS220 Broad Street Studio back in the day… our work there was the genesis of much of my thinking about Hip Hop Genius.  Several of the young people in the video are or have been affiliated with that program.

Contributed by Natalie Shell

Kyle’s Amazing Story

In a universe of wunderkinds with exceptional talents, there is one child whose story deserves to be read and shared.

It is the life of a prodigy born with a gift that was neither inherited nor developed until after it was fully appreciated by his family.  It is the story of a child whose love of a game in addition to his parent’s devotion is helping him enjoy a life that could have been lost.

Little Kyle Lograsso was 18 months old when his parents discovered him imitating a golf swing he had seen most likely on television. First he used the TV remote as his golf club and later brought in sticks to more closely imitate what he had seen.

His parents watched his progress and enthusiasm with awe since they neither played the game nor demonstrated prior interest.  They were never certain what it was he saw on television that inspired him to practice. His father searched for a coach who was able to demonstrate by a comparison video that Kyle had a swing that was significantly like Tiger Woods.

However, by the time he was 2 years old, a white speck on his left eye was subsequently diagnosed as retinoblastoma. Without surgery, the little pro would die within months. He survived the procedure and now wears a prosthetic eye which he has used with comic effect to tease his sister.

This child is a beautifully poignant example of how someone so young can prevail over daunting challenges in his pursuit of who he is meant to be.


Kyle Lograsso @ Yahoo! Video

For more of Kyle’s story, you can also visit his home page.

Patreece Thompson