Closing the “Experience Gap”: Live It and Learn It

Live It Learn It connects students to the world beyond their classrooms through a variety of experiential programs. Erica Harper, program director, joins host Thomas Byrd on the June 27 edition of The Education Town Hall to discuss their work.

As a DC public school teacher, Matthew Wheelock realized that his students thrived on trips outside the classroom and hands-on projects. He founded Live It Learn It in 2005 to close what he now calls an “experience gap.” For details, visit their academic programs page.

Live It Learn It students on the Potomac River (photo: Live It Learn It)
Students explore the Potomac River with Live It Learn It (photo: Live It Learn It)
Live It Learn It works with students in grades 4, 5 and 6. Their programs operate exclusively in Title I schools, with 50% of students served living east of the Anacostia (school/student map).

Live It Learn It aims to increase student confidence and motivation as well as achievement. Teacher, student, and administrator indicate that the program offers opportunities students might otherwise never experience and incorporates those experiences into continued learning.

Are your schools providing enough experiential learning? If not, is there a way to make that happen?

Is testing and test-preparation whittling away at time that might be used for real student experiences?

Might programs like Live It Learn It work elsewhere? Are they needed?

Tune in on Thursday, June 27, at 11:00 a.m. and join the conversation.

Call-in (11 a.m. – noon Thursdays): 202-889-9797.
If you cannot participate live, email questions or comments before the show:
Thomas.Byrd at

Post comments here anytime.

Listen and DO SOMETHING!

The Education Town Hall is broadcast Thursdays at 11 a.m. (Eastern) on We Act Radio.
On-line anywhere: We Act Radio
In the DC Metro Area: WPWC 1480 AM
Full recordings are archived for later discussion and sharing.

KidumentariesWUSA-9 reported earlier this year as Raymond Elementary School 5th graders helped plan the Presidential Inauguration.

Live It Learn It has also been profiled in the Post, Readers Digest, Hill Rag, and East of the River.

The Education Town Hall’s feature reporter attended a showing of student documentaries, held at the National Geographic in 2009. (see story at right)

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