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Education Update - Freedom Writers: Erin Gruwell

The Freedom Writers Diary, a book that inspired the 2007 film, freedom Writers. Today, Gruwell runs the Freedom Writers Foundation, which aims to help teachers "engage, enlighten, and empower at-risk students to reach their full potential." She spoke with. Through the writing, members of the class opened up to each other, breaking out of rigidly defined racial identities. The journey to tolerance was helped by Gruwells use of world literature, especially the recollections of the Holocaust as seen through the eyes of another diarist, Anne Frank.

When my students met her and asked, "Why do you continue to tell your story?" she told them, "Evil prevails when good people do nothing." It was a rallying cry to all of my students to do something. Then Gruwell pointed out the similarities to their own situation. They made the connection and learned another lesson about prejudice. After four years of sharing their stories with each other, working together to raise money for educational projects, and becoming avid students of the literature of tolerance and survival, these kids traded in their hatred for harmony. How do you feel about that decision? Students have to be able to think critically. But where I saw huge cause for alarm in that piece was the idea that we don't want to focus on memoirs. It negates all of those kids who are marginalized. At Freedom Writers, we do give a shit what those kids think and feel. We're training teachers who work with at-risk kids in some poorest schools in the country, kids who have been written off. Sep 3, 2009. The Freedom Writers Diary is a collection of diary entries written by. Read my essay The Terrible Logic of Uncivilized Boys about Mark.

So while I'm excited that New Dorp is trying a new direction, to throw the baby out with the bathwater is really unfortunate. Were you able to teach your students the fundamentals of writing in the process of having them read and write memoirs?