I teach a vibrant group of students in northern California, but they're facing tough challenges. A large percentage are low-socioeconomic, less fortunate, or homeless youth. Many are first-generation high school graduates or college attendees. We have a shocking number of foster youth, and sadly, our test scores and GPA and graduation rates are low for Latinos and African Americans. I would very much like to take these students to see Shakespeare performed live in Ashland, Oregon, about a two-hour car ride north of our school in Redding, California. Unfortunately, we do not have the funding to do so. It would cost about $80 per student to go on this trip--something many of these families just cannot afford.
Students will get a chance to see a Shakespeare play they've already read, Othello. Many of them have never seen a play live before, let alone Shakespeare. Some students will take away a deeper understanding of the play, others will be enthralled by the acting, others will be intrigued by the sets, and all of the students will have an experience to remember--an education in culture!
In Their Own Words
Seth said he wants to see a Shakespeare play he understands. He said he really "got" Othello when we read it last year, unlike Romeo and Juliet his freshman year. Annabelle said she's never seen a live play before; she's excited to see a play for the first time. It's nice to hear students talk about Shakespeare in a positive way, building interest around the school.
We're starting a school newspaper to help bring in funding for this trip also. Chloe said that she's excited to bring back the newspaper to school and help raise funds for this trip. Alyssa is a part of the newspaper too, and she said that wants to facilitate the ideas and creativity of each individual within the club.
Alyssa said she wants this newspaper fundraising project and Shakespeare trip to be a resource to inform all students at our school about events and accomplishments as well as an outlet for creative expression. This will help unite students and staff on campus, promoting literacy and culture, not just limited to Shakespeare.
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