Sunday, May 2, 2010

the freedom writers

i just finished reading a most incredible book compiled by erin gruwell and her students called the freedom writers . erin gruwell is a white woman who taught kids from the hood to channel their anger into writing using the diary of anne frank as a catalyst. reading the diaries of these high school students is a rude awakening. there are fourteen year olds who are jaded by drunk or druggie parents and have been molested by parents or family "friends". so many of their friends and relatives are in jail or have been murdered. most adults ( bh) have not experienced as much adversity as these teenagers. because there is so much corruption around them many cannot rise above it. many do not have a support system that could help them rise above their lot. erin gruwell created a classroom that was supportive . she also had them read books and diaries of those who rose above hate and racism so they would not feel like their suffering is debilitating. she encouraged them to share their own stories through writing their own journals.
reading this book made me thankful that i did not grow up in the hood.
after teaching this group of students for four years erin gruwell taught college courses to create future educators how who will foster a nurturing teaching environment for students from backgrounds like the freedom writers so their students will be able to rise above their "destiny" .

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