This Monday marked the launch of my program, Planning our Future.
In the program, Master of Planning students read Where Things Are From Near to Far, a children’s book about urban planning, to third graders in elementary schools around USC. I also plan to have reading sessions at a few after school programs.
On Monday, we had 3 sessions at 2 schools. Thank you to Ms. Berger’s and Ms. Mooring’s 3rd grade classrooms at 32nd Street School/USC Magnet and to the 3rd grade classroom at St. Agnes Parish School. The kids were very enthusiastic and eager to ask questions and to share their thoughts. After the last reading session at each school, we donate the book to the school’s library, so that any kid at the school can read it, hopefully sparking an early interest in urban planning.
All three sessions were fun, and I look forward to having more of them. It was interesting to see each of the readers’ different approaches, as well as how the setup of the classroom determined the structure of the session. I’m sure there are potential implications for education here, but that’s beyond the scope of this post.
As far as goals go, in the short term, I simply want to encourage the kids to contemplate the built environment, what determines it, and how they feel about it. In the longer term, I hope that some of the kids, especially those from underprivileged areas, feel more empowered in the future to take action and improve their neighborhoods through the planning process, potentially as planning professionals.
Thank you to Joanna Chan, Corrine Montana, Charlie Bond, Alexandra Schwartz, and Peter Enzminger for being my first readers. And thank you to Planetizen for their generous support.-Dima Galkin 2nd Year MPL, Economic Development