The DeWitt Creativity Group (DCG) was founded in February of 2008 by two DeWitt High School teachers: Jason LaFay and Jeff Croley. The formation of the group was inspired by the flourishing creative culture at DHS; thanks in large part to the continuous efforts of students, teachers, parents, and other district personnel. The DCG is made up of the following groups; they are as follows: Theater Department, Art Department, Audio/Visual Club, Music Club (this includes the Choir and Band programs), DeWitt Research and Development Lab, Creative Writing Club and DHS International Club.
The main focus of the DCG is to promote student creativity in connection with public service, lifelong learning, and entrepreneurialism ( the development of innovative products and services). Another area of emphasis is to prepare students for the creative economy by focusing on 21st Century Skills (www.p21.org). This is an economy that requires people to develop and exercise skills and forms of knowledge such as: critical thinking, technological proficiency, willingness to accept the differences of others, networking, constant reinvention of the self, and the ability to design and implement innovative concepts/practices. Without these skills and forms of knowledge individuals, communities, and countries will fail to prosper.
The DCG is creating opportunities for DHS students by working with public/private entities to help transform the economy of Mid-Michigan. Here is a list of the past, present, and future projects of the DCG:
- Planned and executed four years (2008-2011) of RiverBash (annual celebration of youth talent/learning in Downtown Dewitt and Old Town, Lansing).
- Designed and taught "Creative Leadership: Opportunities for Social Innovation class (see class syllabus in "News" section
- Forming the United States and Michigan Creativity Groups
- Planned and executed the Creative Educators Summit (2010-to present), an event that showcases innovative secondary school New Economy practices, organizations, and programs.
- Helped launch the Capital Area Schools of Inoovation Network (CASIN), a coalition of project based learning organizations sharing best ideas and practices for maximum regional impact
- Working to develop a youth innovation center in Downtown DeWitt. The center will be a place where student creativity/entrepreneurialism is developed through regular seminars and other events. Students have created CAD drawings for the proposed center, presented to the DeWitt Downtown Development Authority, and secured a space in the Riverview Office Building.
- Members of the DCG attended the following conferences: Creative Cities Summit 2.0, Michigan Prosperity Summit, FastTrac to the Future: The First Day of Your Entrepreneurial Adventure, Michigan Energy Fair, Michigan Makes Movies Expo, and Michigan Economic Summit.
- Working with the Lansing Area Economic Partnership (LEAP, Inc.), Capital Area Michigan Works!, DeWitt Township and others to create opportunities for students to assist Lansing area businesses through our Adopt-A-Business program, an initiative that partners companies and students to provide real work world experiences. Also, the Youth Business Dynamo is a united effort with the NEO Center (local business incubator) to provide opportunities for student entrepreneurs to collaborate with business start-ups.
- Helped to create the DeWitt Research and Development Lab; a partnership between the DCG and DeWitt High School to enable students to conduct professional scientific research on topics as varied as alternative energy, food security, biotechnology, and environmental conservation.
- Inspired the College of Education at Michigan State University to create a "project based" Ed.D program. The DCG presented at the inaugural 2012 Summer Forum to help students generate ideas for statewide K-12 projects.
- Partnering with Michigan State University and Crossing Borders Education on the Intercultural Film Project to design "toolkits" to be used along with film screenings at high schools, community colleges, and universities across the USA and China.
- Members of the DCG attended and participated in the Great Lakes International Trade and Transport Hub summit (a trade summit between Canada and the United States of America) in October 2011 at Michigan State University. Students and teachers listened to in depth discussions and presentations regarding the issues of foreign trade. Additionally, students were given the opportunity to vote on a binational strategic plan to increase trade between the two nations.
- Produced an original stage production of "Questions?" which was used as an educational tool to ignite discussions regarding education reform.
- Working with the MIchigan Economic Development Corporation to map innovative K-12 entrepreneurial programs.
The DCG is always willing to collaborate with both nationally and internationally organizations. This group "concept" is fluid and ever evolving to meet the interests of students, communities, and educational institutions. We are interested in exchanging ideas and practices with other organizations dedicated to developing learning communities.
Any feedback, insight or networking opportunities can be forwarded to:
firstname.lastname@example.org -517.203.5048 or email@example.com 517.281.4280
For more information go to www.dewittcreativitygroup.org or go to YouTube and search "dewittcreativitygroup" for videos
Brian Byars (DeWitt Research and Development Lab)
Jeff Croley (Theater Department, Audio/Visual Club, and DHS International Club)
Eder DeLaCruz (Creative Writing Club)
Meghan Eldred (Choir and Music Club Advisor)
Fred Hingst (DeWitt Research and Development Lab)
Jason LaFay ( DHS International Club)
Nathan Lindsey (Art Club)
Lisa Norman (Art Club)
Mike Norman (Band)
Kelly Williams (Business Professionals of America andDeWitt High School Panther Pause, student run cyber cafe business)
Steve Hargadon (The Future of Education Web site: www.futureofeducation.com)
Dr. Norman Longworth (Learning Cities)
Dr. Paul Crawford (PASCAL International Observatory)
Dr. Michael Osborne (PASCAL International Observatory)
Arnd Wachter (filmmaker)
Timothy A. Brannan (President - Instructional Technology Services, Inc.)
Dr. John Deiter
Dr. Stehen Rapundalo (MichBio)
Kim Mathiot (Technology and Creativity Consultant for State of Michigan Board of Education)
Jeremy Van Hof
Rob Bush (Robotics Club)
Renardo Jefferson (owner of the Lansing Capitals)
Carol Coletta (CEOs for Cities)
Dr. Susan Printy
Katie Donovan (Art Serve Michigan)
Pat Gillespie Jeff Smith Chris Miller
Joe Lopez Linda Hundt Linda Frederickson
Jeff Spicer Ivy Hughes Alan Hooper
Doc Robinson Barb Fails Jaime Schriner-Hooper
Denyse Ferguson Kate Tykocki Virg Bernero
Tim Hunnicutt Sydney Watkins Thomas Stewart
Dru Mitchell Jim Hudgins Tricia Bobeda
Pamela Jodway Bob Gehrls Austin Howard
Reham Alexander Bill Brown Rebecca Stimpson
Lucas Huttenga Larry Estlack Robyn Stegman
Karen Gagnon John Czarnecki Loretta Spinrad
Richard Florida Richard Stevens Kevin McFatridge
Casey Cavanaugh Heather Frarey Tim Lane
Erik Kupsis Jeff Butler Rod Taylor
Alex Ovenhouse Lindsay Chestnut Ana Cardona
Bruce Joslyn Kerissa Bradley Mike Lee
Kevin Karpinski Ben Russell Kellie Dean
Mansour Ashtiani David Esch Micki O'Neil
Charles Landry Aaron Matthews Gov. Jennifer Granholm
Stephanie Marvin Sean Bradley Gov. Rick Snyder
Taylor Curtiss Joey Lopez Melissa Croley
Paul Jaques Nancy Colflesh Steve Bennett
Keith Young Stacy Adado Lonnie Thomas
Todd Burlingham Keri Litwiller Terry Benton
Matinga Ragatz Ashley Sonefeld Averie Conn
Matt Hygh Julian Stall Joe Yockey
Kristal Edie Rachel Heinze Katie Coon
Megan Smania Danielle Draves Kayla Fournier
Sophia Lantz Erika Hodges Abby Turpen
Jeff Thoenes Jay Bennett Vincent Delgado
Bittney Hoszkiw Chad Badgero Taylar Miller
Nicole Namy Cheryl Peters Jason Traub
Rob Spagnulo Spence Sowulewski Nicolas Theoret
Mari Wichman Amy Butler Caleb Rivard