|Ronda Shares Her Testimony|
This past week, Ronda Harris of Bartlesville presented a Building Bridges game to nearly one hundred people at a National Conference in Indianapolis, IN. The City of Bartlesville began implementing Getting Ahead classes for families living in poverty with two pilot groups this past year. One pilot group was at the Vision Onward Transitional Apartments, which Ronda participated in, and was facilitated by M'liss Jenkins and Don Bush. The visual mental model was created as an end of the course class project, which then fell into the hands of the author of the curriculum, Philip DeVol. DeVol was so impressed by Ronda's mental model that they are making it into a board game to be used as a learning tool with their Getting Ahead curriculum.
|Alabama State Legislator Patricia Todd, M'liss Jenkins and Ronda|
The Building Bridges game is a learning tool for understanding day-to-day struggles that come with living in poverty. Playing it and discussing it opens up the lines of communication between players--to understand the resources that help players from poverty get out of poverty, and and for players of middle class and wealth—to see the lack of resources and its effect on certain situations, and the barriers that bring people into poverty. Designed by presenter Ronda Harris as a visual mental model of how the Getting Ahead class influenced the lives of Getting Ahead class members, including her own— showing what they learned and what they knew they needed to do to get to their future story. During the game, players develop the tools needed to build the bridges that a person needs to keep from being swept away into poverty.
This tool will be available to other Getting Ahead groups in early 2011.