I am incredibly blessed to teach in one of the largest, most linguistically, and culturally diverse communities in New Jersey. My students are currently in their 8th-grade year and range in age from 13-15 years old.
The cultural diversity of my student body is by far the most special aspect of my job, as I learn just as much from my students as they do from me.
Their stories of hard work, upward mobility, and passion for growth are inspiring.
As an educator, I believe fully that students must get out to see and experience the world we are teaching them about. I love organizing field trips that help them further explore subject areas they may be interested in. I am also passionate about helping children find literature they can relate to and grow from. I truly love my students with all my heart.
Pre-COVID, students in my language arts classes would read and analyze music, literature, art, and primary source documents associated with The Harlem Renaissance, the Civil Rights Movement, and current events related to social justice. We would then attend a culturally relevant Broadway play, like Dominique Morriseau's "Aint too Proud. The Life and Times of the Temptations." This year, all in-person field trips, especially in the NY/NJ area have been canceled due to valid concerns regarding COVID-19. Additionally, the pandemic has made it substantially more difficult for Home and School Organizations to fundraise on the same level as pre-pandemic years, making monetary field trip assistance less available. As such, we are looking at opportunities to enliven distance learning through virtual field trips, workshops, and classroom visitors.
This DonorsChoose project would allow 75 students, unable to visit a live Broadway play this year, to attend a virtual learning experience in NYC called "Hamiltour." Guided by a struggling Broadway actor or artist (due to the closure of all Broadway shows,) it will feature the art and history of the Richard Rodgers Theater, historical places in NYC, and the genre-melding magic of Lin Manuel Miranda's stunning dramatic piece.
The 75-minute tour will be taught in conjunction with a 6 hour, teacher-created, extracurricular unit on Miranda and his use of rap and hip hop music to teach stories of historical figures and time periods. We will also dive deeply into Puerto Rican cultural influences in American mainstream and contemporary arts.
Teens today are utterly enthralled with Hamilton. It would be my honor, in a year already so strife with difficult times due to the pandemic, to put a little sparkle into my students' day with this virtual field trip. Thank you in advance for your consideration
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