May 23, 2009 (Readers, please note that the video is attached to the right.)
Tyrone, At the Class Day assembly, with many parents there as well as the Lovejoy students to celebrate with the seniors, the video was on program. I introduced it, explaining to the audience that the students who were sitting in front of them were not the whole class. I explained that they had classmates in Brasil and another teacher. I explained how unusual it is for students to have this kind of opportunity, to collaborate via SKYPE, to use the blogs and ORKUT, to share their lives, and to discuss their studies with Freedom Writers with students from another country.
I told them how your students and mine looked forward to seeing each other, to talking with each other. I explained that the students in your class wanted to share a special tribute to the graduating class. The students were so surprised (they knew we were up to something, they just didn't know what), they were so attentive, they were so touched -- and they cheered (the seniors and the audience when it was done.) It made their Class Day so much more special and different from any other -- because your classes were an important part of it.
Tell Icaro and Wellington how it meant so much to these kids, such a beautiful ending to their school year, and how important it was for them to be a part of the program. It made it complete.
I read about the financial problems and how time is cut back for your students. I was so sad that education is where the government decided to cut. There is still much the students can do together through the blog and TappedIn and Orkut. I realized how sad I really was about this when I told my friend and cried while we talked about it. Your students are also my students and I make it a practice to love all of my students.
My dream is to be able to go to your school to visit with you and with them. I, too, will make time to talk to your students even though the classes do not meet at the same time. We can also pick topics for the students to discuss and record them for YouTube, so they can see each other and hear each others voices.
I will pray that times get better for both countries financially. It is not right to deprive the children of their education. You and I must overcome the barrier and keep this beautiful relationship between our students going.
Back to the video. I am so thrilled. I will post it on our blog if you do not mind. The students want to keep copies of it. I tried to record their reactions but the room was dark, so the film is not good. I will see if I can upload to YouTube in the next couple of days, at least part of it. Again, thanks to you and our Brasilian classmates. It is so beautiful.