字幕列表 影片播放 列印英文字幕 An idealistic English teacher, a room full of quote un teachable at risk students and her helping them find their freedom to write their own destiny well if that sounds like a Hollywood movie the Freedom Writers it is but it's more than that it's the true story that the movie is based off-- real students their lives and the teacher who believed in them over ten years later she still doing that but bringing it to the next level with the Springfield City School District and today I'm joined by that English High School student teacher and the founder the freedom riders foundation Erin Gruwell better known as Ms G also we have Springfield assistant school superintendent Lydia Martinez and Denise Jordan from Mayor Sarno's office to talk about Springfield being the first of its kind to implement the Freedom Writers curriculum on on a district-wide level thanks so much for joining us today and I want to start with Ms G as I told you I wanted to call you Ms G because feel that name has really just stuck with you the past ten years or so it's really made you probably who you are today do you feel that connection? I do and I still see the original freedom writers and they still call me Ms G so there's great admiration for that name that's great now everybody's familiar with the story behind the Freedom Writers but we're taking it to the next level like I mentioned Freedom Writers curriculum what is that What was amazing was that when my freedom writers were writing their stories and it was like a message in a bottle we were hoping that their parents and community would read their stories and when it became a book we realized that other kids and other communities have similar stories and so right here in Springfield we hope that would be a mirror to what my students went through so we created a curriculum that allowed teachers and students alike to mirror our story and to pick up a pen and write their own ending and right wrongs essentially what difference is the Freedom Writers curriculum from maybe a normal or what you've seen in the past what is the difference it brings to the table for a lot of education programs we teach to the overachievers or the kids who are headed off to the Ivy Leagues and for me i I had students who weren't college-bound initially students whose parents dropped out of school or even middle school or high school and so we learn how to tap into their prior knowledge and their community and the strengths that they had and not look at it as a deficit but looking at it as a strength and so I was very fortunate that the 150 students I had graduated and went to college and we wanted to replicate that same kind of success withs tudents everywhere but specifically right here in Springfield and talk about that Springfield first time on a district-level you're going to be bringing this to the Springfield school district Why Springfield? I was given an incredible challenge by Warren Buffett's daughter Susie Buffett and she said I think you could take what you did in room 203 with 150 kids and replicate it. If it's a secret sauce and you could bottle where would you take it and the freedom writers and I've been very blessed we're traveled to all 50 states and have been to hundreds and hundreds of cities in our country and there's something so unique and so special about this community that for us it was very easy to pick if we were to have one city to try to replicate what we did in room 203 it was a natural fit and we have fallen in love with this community the educators the students and we hope that there's gonna be great synergy by bringing all these people together to try to fight for kids and give them a voice And it seems that they've been the community has been so involved and so passionate about the same exact model and education that you followed in room 203 in bringing it to this level What's amazing and I think you're gonna meet these incredible women they're super heroes is everyone here believes in kids it's not about data and statistics it's about kids and helping them get next level and when you're in the trenches and you're from hear and you went to school here you want everyone to have the same success you had and I think it's really a partnership I think it's an incredible synergy and it's a belief system that these young people regardless of economics regardless of race or religion each and every kid has the ability through the support of caring adults to make it Lydia why impact do you feel that this will have on the Springfield City Schools and students It's like Erin said it's about a belief and so many of our educators really truly do believe in our children so it's about that love of children 25 of us had the opportunity to go to long beach this summer and really go through the Institute when we returned a lot of people asked us can you explain it and I kept saying no it's something you have to live because it's something that really helps you understand the love for children and so thats what we're bringing to the table and so we'll be doing a workshop with about approximately fifty other teachers because it it's just it's a synergy its it's an energy that I I can't even explain to you so it's really about the love of our children because our children can learn and they will learn and they are learning It seems that sometimes we focus on the students but also it's about getting the teachers involved so they know what to do and how to do it what has been your reaction from the teachers? what it's been their reaction Oh my god I've had to stop them and they just wanna go crazy because the opportunity that they had and what they learned was so powerful that everybody's just ready to give that love to the children it's not about a methodology it's about a love and that's the best way to describe it so our teachers are are ready to go and you'll be hearing a lot more about what we're doing to really make sure that the Freedom Writers way really does penetrate in all of our schools so we're really excited about it Talk about how you feel Springfield was able to show how much they wanted and they needed and looked forward to having the Freedom Writers curriculum take place in the school Well let's just say we had over a hundred applicants for 25 slots and a lot of disappointed individuals that didn't get to go to long beach which is why Erin so generously agreed to come back and really do a workshop for all of them so that everybody had a little piece of the pie because when Erin first came in and we saw one of the documentaries that the Freedom Writers did there was nothing but tears and love and hope in that room in in the energy it was just an energy that I can't describe was something that we were kinda missing for a little while and it came back and so those teachers still have that energy we don't wanna let the energy go so its its it's beyond words I can't describe it Now Denise you are from the mayor's office he's obviously not in this springfield school district but he was just as excited as the school was? Absolutely the mayor serves as the chairperson of the School Committee so I was fortunate enough to attend a conference or actually a reception that was hosted by doctor carole leary from baypath and the guest of honor was Erin Gruwell so the mayor and I and a number of members of the community were in the room to listen to Erin tell her story now if you have not had the opportunity to hear Erin tell her story in person you're really missing out her passion her spirit permeated the room and everybody just focused in on what she was saying and I remember on the way back to the office the mayor was like wow maybe we could bring that back to the city what if we could bring that back to our children and so I mean once everyone in the room heard Erin and heard her story and she basically you know kinda dispelled the myth that kids are unteachable because she had proven results so once we heard her story we're all compelled to be a part of it and we want to bring it back to our children so it was an easy sell That's great now going back to you Ms G I know some people may have originally 10-15 years ago looked at your idealism and said it can never happened you know you're thinking too far outside your dreams are too high there too unimaginable it can't happen you how were you able to look past that and still stay focused on what you wanted your dream to accomplish it's easy I have a 150 students who are still very much a part of my life and the beauty of both Denise and Lydia's visit to Long Beach was part of our teaching strategy is bringing those original kids into the teaching strategy so they were learning beside Darius and Mirada and Tiffany and these original students who very humbly picked up a pen told their story about being homeless or leaving a gang or are burying a loved one and to see where they were and to see where they are is such a transformation and we believe that every kid deserves that chance, deserves that second or third chance deserves somebody believing in them and so it's really a process of coming together and in leaving your ego at the door it's all about being humble and being open to change and knowing that kids who have done bad things are not necessarily bad people and so that's the spirit that we're bringing to Springfield we know that there's some economic challenges and with any urban community we have that in Long Beach they have it here in Springfield but kids are more than their economics and they're more than their past and they're more than those stereotypes and so it's taking a group from entire community saying I want to believe and so when all these incredible business people said how can we support how can we get a scholarship to teachers to take this magic carpet ride to give back it was incredible we had so many businesses and thought leaders and individuals in this community come together and all the major community colleges and universities also came together so it's unprecedented its it's not just an ordinary teacher an assistant superintendent and someone who works beside the mayor its the entire fabric of Springfield coming together for these kids that's great and we're so excited to follow this Freedom Writers revolution that happening now on the other side of the Coast and we're so excited to follow it and see what's going to happen in Springfield about it thank you so much for joining me today ladies.