I am a huge fan of the Freedom Writers Foundation started by Erin Gruwell. I loved the movie and was so enamored and moved when I first met Erin Gruwell at the TCEA conference in February 2007. Since then, Erin Gruwell has been my ‘she-ro‘ as she champions for scholarships for her students and makes such a wonderful, positive difference in the lives of young adults every day. I admire her passion for teaching, her strength in life and her joy in helping those around her.
On August 18, Erin’s new book, Teaching Hope, will be released for sale. The new book is described as,
Erin Gruwell and the Freedom Writers went on to establish the Freedom Writers Foundation to replicate the success of Room 203 and provide all students with hope and opportunities to realize their academic potential. Since then, the foundation has trained more than 150 teachers in the United States and Canada. Teaching Hope unites the voices of these Freedom Writer teachers, who share uplifting, devastating, and poignant stories from their classrooms, stories that provide insight into the struggles and triumphs of education in all of its forms.
The email announcement describes the new opportunity as follows,
The Freedom Writers Foundation is excited to announce a new program, Between the Lines: Online Videochat With the Real Freedom Writers. The program is designed to bring the original Freedom Writers right into your classroom or organization, using online tools, such as Skype to answer questions, serve as inspirational role models, and provide general encouragement. Freedom Writers share their personal stories and interact directly with the audience, answering questions that may come up after reading The Freedom Writers Diary or watching the movie Freedom Writers.
The videochat is like a Q&A session during which the Freedom Writer will answer your questions in detail, and in doing so, share their own personal stories. The Freedom Writers share stories of overcoming childhoods affected by poverty, gang violence, substance abuse, physical and mental abuse, learning disabilities, racial discrimination, and many other challenges. Their uplifting talks focus on the power of the pen, and how reading and journaling began a long process of introspection for them, which ultimately re-charted their lives. The Freedom Writers speak of their incredible transformation, and sessions can be tailored to focus on topics such as:
- AVOIDING INVOLVEMENT WITH GANGS AND THE CRIMINAL JUSTICE SYSTEM
- HAVING PRIDE IN ONE’S HERITAGE AND BECOMING A POSITIVE ROLE MODEL
- THE POWER OF READING, WRITING, AND FINDING ONE’S OWN VOICE
- FREEDOM WRITERS’ VIEW ON THE KEY TO THEIR TEACHER’S SUCCESS
- DIVERSITY AND TOLERANCE
- OTHER THEMES BY SPECIAL REQUEST
Donations can also be mailed to:
Freedom Writers Foundation
P.O. Box 41505
Long Beach, CA 90853