LEAP Term 2020 Workshops

Students in grades 9 through 11 will be participating in self-selected workshops as part of LEAP Term. Workshops are 45 minutes in duration. 


Storytelling & Creating Workshops


Writing with Elizabeth Acevedo Elizabeth Acevedo will lead writing workshops with students based on her experience as an award-winning published author.
Creative Non-Fiction: Memoir & Personal Writing

Everyone has a story to tell. If you've ever thought of writing yours but don't know where to begin, this workshop will give you the perfect framework. Step-by-step techniques will be presented in a series of fun writing exercises to get you started on your memoir.

Workshop Provider: Lisa Cooper, The Muse Writers Center

Visual Journaling & Creating a Personal Archive  Have you ever wanted to have a journal, but can't seem to keep up with it? In this workshop, we will explore how to document your life in other formats, including audio recordings, doodles, drawings, word clouds and more. You will walk away understanding that your “Personal Archive” is unique and can be maintained with many formats and styles throughout life.

Workshop Provider: Anna Fitzgerald, The Muse Writers Center

Intro to Podcasting: Effectively Capturing & Projecting Your Voice

In this workshop, we will explore how to plan, format, & execute a podcast. We will discuss how to frame an episode and make creative choices based on intended audiences. We will briefly explore a basic podcast creation app that is easy to use named Anchor.fm.

Workshop Provider: Anna Fitzgerald, The Muse Writers Center 

Storytelling: Finding Your Story in the Chaos

Students will make blackout poetry and use their creations as inspiration for writing their own story. 

Workshop Provider: Rebekah Coxwell, The Muse Writers Center 

Journalism & Magazine Writing: How to Submit Work


Students will learn how to develop a pitch and submit pitches to publications.

Workshop Provider: Rekaya Gibson, The Muse Writers Center 

Comics & Graphic Writing 

Students will learn what makes a comic a comic and then make several of their own. 

Workshop Provider: Kristin Mehaffey, The Muse Writers Center  

Journey for the Maltese Falcon: A Fiction Writing Workshop

Students will first embark on a “treasure hunt” and then take their found items and write a short story partially inspired by the treasure hunt and partially inspired by the emotion the found object inspires.

Workshop Provider: Rebekah Coxwell, The Muse Writers Center 

Seashells in the Attic: A Poetry Writing Workshop 

Students will use found objects to express emotion in poetry. Students are welcome to bring their own found objects or utilize one(s) provided.

Workshop Provider: Rebekah Coxwell, The Muse Writers Center 

Am I done yet?: Creating & Curating Writing Portfolios

This workshop will allow students to learn a few tips and tricks on effective ways they can start to utilize Google Docs and Sheets to compile and keep track of your growing portfolio of writing. Students should bring their iPad or laptop. 

Workshop Provider: Rebekah Coxwell, The Muse Writers Center 

Travel Writing or Writing About Place  

Travel changes us. It helps us see the world with new eyes. Writing about travel allows us to share new worlds with others. We will talk about the different types of travel writing and how to find the best story from your travels whether it's to Outer Mongolia or around the block.

Workshop Provider: Cindy Carlson, The Muse Writers Center  

Spoken Word Performance: Race, Identity, and the Drumbeat of Freedom 

This workshop explores how poetry was used and has been used to define and interpret freedom, equal rights, identity, justice, and socio-economic conditions. Synnika Lofton uses important American poems to help explore race, identity, and various ways of defining American freedom. Lofton recites and performs the poems while Gregory Lee lightly provides percussion and teaches the historical importance of how African and Middle Eastern drums have been used with poetry and storytelling. The workshop ends with students and participants writing, performing, sharing, and discussing their own poems about freedom, justice, and equal rights.   

Workshop Provider: Synnika Lofton, The Muse Writers Center  

Social Media for the Writer  

In this workshop, students will gain insights into how writers can leverage the power of social media and blogging to build an online presence. Students will also discuss various strategies for success as well as what to avoid in navigating these platforms in pursuit of their writing. 

Workshop Provider: Lili Nizankiewicz, Old Dominion University Writers in the Community Coordinator 

Unity Bootcamp 

In this workshop, students will develop basic skills in using Unity cross-platform game engine and leave having created code for at least one simple game task.

Workshop Provider: Jeremy Alessi, Midnight Status  

Podcasting w/ OBS (Open Broadcasting Software) 

In this workshop, students will learn how to kickstart their own podcast using OBS (Open Broadcasting Software), a few bits of extra hardware, special effects, and several methods of distribution.

Workshop Provider: Jeremy Alessi, Midnight Status 

Social Media Content Creation 

From social media marketing expert Kristina Knapp, students will learn how to create and curate effective social media content in conjunction with their Leap Project or otherwise. They will also discuss ways in which social media can be a key means of telling stories and documenting and archiving important aspects of our daily lives, interests and endeavors.

Workshop Provider: Kristina Knapp, Elixir Media Co.  

Website Creation & Design 

In this workshop, students will learn about various methods for creating and designing websites, and gain a basic introduction to using HTML and Blogspot. Students who sign up for this workshop will need to bring their iPad or a laptop. 

Workshop Provider: Meagan Taylor-Booth, WHRO 


Students will learn how filmmaking is just another form of storytelling. They will leave with a better understanding of the filmmaking process while stressing that the process is ultimately most successful when it is collaborative and the finished product tells a cohesive story. 

Workshop Provider: Jason Kypros, JLK Productions

Spontaneous Storytelling 

Using a variety of fun, interactive, theatre games and improv exercises, students will engage in discussion and practice of various improvisational storytelling styles and formats in pairs, groups, and solo performance. Lesson points include ideas about creative collaboration, performance energy and connection, imagination and inspiration, discovering strong physical and emotional character choices, trusting your ideas, and working with cues from genre and music. Freeing the mind, fostering collaboration and building positivity are just some of the by-products of improvisation. Learn more about using this art form to team build, teach sharing and create empathy.

Workshop Provider: Ryan Clements, Virginia Stage Company 

Cardboard Arcade  

In this workshop, students will work together to build a working cardboard arcade game that will be programmed with Makey Makey microcontrollers and coded using Scratch coding. If any of that sounds complicated...don't worry, it's actually easy and a lot of fun. By the end of the session, students will have learned how to use Scratch with Makey Makey microcontrollers and have had the opportunity to build something super cool with cardboard, playdough and aluminum foil

Workshop Provider: Brendan Hoyle, Norfolk Collegiate  

Interactive Autobiography

In this workshop, students will create a short interactive autobiography that will combine storytelling, coding  and physical making. Students will have many options on ways to make their stories interactive including animation, coding and 3D design.

Workshop Provider: Brendan Hoyle, Norfolk Collegiate 

Mixing and Making Music 

With over 15 years of DJing experience, William Meyer will teach students the basics of how to use the standard equipment, mix songs, select songs, build a set and how to monetize the art of DJing!

Workshop Provider: DJ William Meyer 

Finding Your Place 

In this workshop, students will have the chance to explore and use different art mediums to create a puzzle piece that represents them. At the end of the workshop, students will assemble the larger puzzle to find their place.

Workshop Provider: Cathy Wright, Norfolk Collegiate 

The Ins & Outs of Me

Students will have the chance to design their own tapestry comprised of colorful paper they make and weave together with typography that reflects key aspects of who they are and who they want to be.

Workshop Provider: Cathy Wright, Norfolk Collegiate 

 Partner Art   Students will challenge themselves in this workshop to make a collaborative piece of art. They will work in pairs and ultimately create a mirror-image abstract piece of artwork.

Workshop Provider: Cathy Wright, Norfolk Collegiate

Get Your Hands Dirty: Working on Cars  

In this workshop, students will get hands-on training and practice in changing tires, checking oil, coolant & transmission fluid and other basic car care tasks.

Workshop Provider: Phil Lassiter  

Get Your Hands Dirty: Aeromodeling

In this workshop, students will explore design and construction processes by examining and operating various airplane models. 

Workshop Provider: Rick Davis, Norfolk Collegiate

Get Your Hands Dirty: Designing a Prototype 

Students will learn and practice design methods by constructing a prototype for a community project. 

Workshop Provider: Rick Davis, Norfolk Collegiate

Get Your Hands Dirty: Upcycling Fabrics

Did you know that fast fashion is second only to oil as the world's largest polluter? Do what you can to reduce your carbon footprint by giving unwanted fabric a second life. Use old t-shirts to create anything from a produce bag, to a rug, to a headband, a scarf -- and even a dog toy!

Workshop Provider: Laura Morse, Norfolk Collegiate

Get Your Hands Dirty: Upcycling Miscellaneous Materials

We generate about 4.51 pounds of trash per person per day. One way to combat that growing number is to upcycle something that would have normally become trash. During this session, we will reuse materials, like glass and plastic, in a variety of ways. Sign up for this workshop if you'd like to bring trash back to life.

Workshop Provider: Laura Morse, Norfolk Collegiate

Get Your Hands Dirty: Make Your Own Terrarium

In this workshop, students will have a chance to dig into their creativity by designing their very own terrarium using succulents and other “found” materials. They will also gain an introduction to house plant cultivation and care. 

Workshop Provider: Emily Wilson, The Budd Group

Taking Inventory: Intro to SCOIR & You 

11th grade students will be introduced and become registered to use SCOIR, the new college counseling platform and complete personal inventory modules to prepare them for the grade-level college campus visits.

Workshop Provider: College Counseling Norfolk Collegiate

Building the Right College List for YOU

As the third part of the 11th grade college counseling programming, this workshop will begin to help students synthesize what they have earned about themselves and about how to effectively evaluate a college to begin building the right college list for them as individuals.

Workshop Provider: College Counseling, Norfolk Collegiate



Health, Wellness & Community Workshops

Freedom from Chemical Dependence

FCD’s mission is to work with schools and other organizations across the United States and around the world to provide students with the knowledge, understanding and skills they need to make intelligent, healthy choices about alcohol and other drug use. 

Workshop Provider: Mr. G, FCD

Erika’s Lighthouse with the Sarah Michelle Peterson Foundation 

In this workshop, Michelle Peterson, Executive Director of the Sarah Michelle Peterson Foundation, will lead students through evidence-informed depression awareness programming to help build strategies and tools for maintaining good mental health. 

Workshop Provider: Michelle Peterson, The Sarah Michelle Peterson Foundation

Cultivating Resilience - Yoga: Mindfulness & Movement 

Students will learn how to create an “active break” for themselves with mindfulness and movement by learning strategies to quiet a busy mind with breathing techniques and letting go of tension through basic yoga movement. Students should bring a yoga mat if they have one; otherwise, one will be provided for them. 

Workshop Providers: Zoe O’Dea, Hot House Yoga & GUD Yoga Instructor and Ashley Gudknecht, Owner of GUD Yoga

Cultivating Resilience: Mindfulness

What is mindfulness? Find out in this session how to be more mindful in your everyday life. We will also practice mindfulness through guided imagery. The session will end with time for journaling and reflection. 

Workshop Provider: Laura Morse, Norfolk Collegiate 

Cultivating Resilience: Martial Arts

The purpose of this experience is to give young leaders the experience of empowerment through martial arts. The workshop will include dynamic physical training, coupled with the teachings of practical self defense as well as personal development and mindfulness tools.

Workshop Provider: Buck Grant, Master Level martial artist & fitness coach and Hot House Yoga Instructor

Healthy Habits: Great Workouts with Minimal Equipment

Students will learn easy to replicate exercises that require minimal equipment so they can improve their workout confidence and IQ. 

Workshop Provider: Cayte Brown, Norfolk Collegiate & Fit4Mom fitness instructor

Healthy Habits: Great Workouts with Minimal Equipment 

Lauren Meyer will instruct students on how to do a fun, challenging workout with minimal equipment. Workout anywhere, anytime with the help of Lauren’s 20 years of experience teaching fitness classes, bootcamps  and personal training of all ages and abilities. 

Workshop Provider: Lauren Meyer, Meyer Fitness Owner

Healthy Habits: Run for Fun 

Looking for a way to destress and get some fresh air at the same time? Let's go for a run! Don't forget to hydrate and stretch before AND after.

Workshop Providers: Herbert Brown, Sarah Hammer and Laura Morse

Healthy Habits: Open Gym - Indoor Workshop Provider: Norfolk Collegiate faculty

Healthy Habits: Open Gym - Outdoor


Workshop Provider: Norfolk Collegiate faculty

Healthy Habits: Nutritious Cooking

Students will participate in Flik’s Test Kitchen program and learn about ways they can cultivate a variety of healthy diets as well as hone their cooking skills by making a featured recipe. 

Workshop Provider: Flik

Character Does Matter 

1st Lieutenant Travis Manion was killed by a sniper on a deployment to Iraq in April 2007. He embodied the idea of putting self before others, and his family started the Travis Manion Foundation (TMF) in his honor. TMF focuses on serving others, honoring veterans and fallen soldiers, and building leaders. The Character Does Matter workshop is led by a local representative who shares the values of TMF. The presenter tells Travis’s story and then discusses how employing the mindset of “If not me, then who” is critical in developing the next generation of leaders.

Workshop Provider: Gene Nady, Travis Manion Foundation

Discovering Your Role as a Leader  

This workshop will feature leadership and team-building activities intended to allow students to define for themselves what makes an effective leader. Students participating in this workshop are also highly encouraged to sign up for the Travis Manion Foundation’s Character Does Matter workshop. 

Workshop Provider: Libby Snowden, Norfolk Collegiate 

Restoring Norfolk 

In this workshop, students will gain a better understanding of how historic preservation and renovation works and specifically how it works in Norfolk. The workshop will provide students with a broad overview of “what’s changed” around town from mid-20th century to present day, where to find local buildings and landmarks that are on the National Register of Historic Places and an up close look at a recent project - 161 Granby Street. 

Workshop Provider: Marcus and Paige Pollard, Commonwealth Preservation Group

Leadership on a Local Level 

Students in this workshop will learn what it means to serve on a city council from current city councilman, Martin Thomas, Jr. Additionally, students will examine recent cycles of development in our very own Wards Corner.

Workshop Provider: Martin Thomas, The Decker Law Firm and Norfolk City Councilman  

Creating a Sense of Belonging: How to Be Inclusive to All People 


This workshop will share ways in which students can be agents of change toward building a sense of belonging for themselves and others wherever they go. Students will discuss topics related to gender identity, sexual orientation and racial equity as well as proactive steps they can take to cultivate inclusivity.

Workshop Provider: Stacie Walls-Beegle or Staff, LGBT Life Center 


Understanding Careers and Other Opportunities in Social Justice and Health & Human Services 

This workshop will provide students with information on volunteer and career opportunities within the fields of social justice and health & human services that may not be as known as others and that do not require a medical degree. 

Workshop Provider: Stacie Walls-Beegle, LGBT Life Center  

Investing in My Community: Community Service Afternoon with ForKids 

Good Mojo thrift store directly supports the work of ForKids, a local organization whose mission is to break the cycle of homelessness and poverty for children and families. Students will learn more about the organization, its work and role the thrift store plays in helping families and the community at large before helping out in the thrift store.

Workshop Provider: Staff, ForKids & Good Mojo

Investing in My Community: Community Service Afternoon with Travis Manion Foundation 

Students will spend the afternoon working on a service project that benefits veterans or our local military community. Exact service project and location forthcoming. 

Workshop Provider: Libby Snowden in conjunction with TMF


Investing in My Community: Community Service Afternoon with Hoffler Creek Wildlife Preserve


Students will work in conjunction with Hoffler Creek Staff on a project that aligns with the wildlife preserve’s mission: to conserve the last parcel of wilderness in the Hoffler Creek Watershed consistent with good stewardship for environmental education, research, and recreation. This experience will involve work outdoors; students will need to dress accordingly based on the weather. 

Workshop Provider: Staff, Hoffler Creek Wildlife Preserve 

Investing in My Community: Community Service Afternoon on Norfolk Collegiate grounds 

Students will first learn the basics of “reading a landscape” and understand the unique composition and needs of plant life on our campus. They will also help prepare the campus for late winter / early spring planting. This experience will involve work outdoors; students will need to dress accordingly based on the weather. 

Workshop Provider: Emily Wilson, The Budd Group