Congratulations to Christina Lucera (whose classes you'll read about elsewhere in this newsletter) and Katrina Culley, a 5th grade teacher at Benjamin Franklin Elementary School in Philadelphia's Lawncrest section. Both teachers were awarded $150 to support their students’ projects.
As Katrina wrote in her submission, “The 5th grade class I have this year is loud, argumentative and rowdy. However, our most recent class discussion of issues went much differently than usual. One by one, students raised their hands with stories to share — about witnessing violence or drug transactions, family members dying or being in jail, and things from movies that really bothered them. My rowdy, talkative students were sitting silently listening to each other on a Friday afternoon at 2:30. I could not believe how much of a difference that meaningful content can make to how students chose to participate in class.”
“The students get excited when they see Need in Deed on the schedule,” Katrina says. After several weeks of discussion and exploration, the students chose violence as their topic. “It’s a huge topic, and one they all have experience with, so now we’re doing more research to narrow our focus.”