Bronx singer and BAL alum Prince Royce paid a visit to the Bronx Academy of Letter High School Friday to spread a message of peace. His visit was part of the John Lennon Educational Bus Tour, a monthlong tour of peace, love and creativity. Together, they created and recorded an orginal song and music video!
The Cal Ripken, Sr. Foundation; United Healthcare and CBS EcoMedia made Bronx Academy of Letters its fifth stop during the 2017 Team8 Tour on Monday, September 18 and Tuesday, September 19. The visit emphasized the need for healthier food options, school facility improvements and creating opportunities for local youth to stay active in athletics and afterschool programs.
Sixteen-year-old Matt Diaz, a junior at Bronx Academy of Letters in Bronx, New York and a member of Integrate, NYC, an organization working to end de-facto racial segregation in New York City schools, was one of the many students who participated in the walkout. Not only did Diaz walk out of school alongside his peers, he also helped organize and publicize the walkout for all New York City schools through his work at Integrate, NYC. Broadly spoke to Diaz immediately after the walkout to learn about his experience, and what he hopes comes next.
In classrooms and hallways, kids struggled to understand the surprising upset of Clinton, who overwhelmingly carried New York in Tuesday's presidential election. Teachers said they heard feelings of betrayal and fear, especially among children of immigrants. At the Urban Assembly Bronx Academy of Letters, seventh-grade social studies teacher Eric Kossoff said his students were frightened by Trump's pledge to deport illegal immigrants and to build a wall on the Mexican border.
"They are immigrants, their parents are immigrants, some of their parents are illegal immigrants," he said. "They are basically living the things that Donald Trump is putting out there."
his can't be a one-time conversation, a solitary assembly or moment of silence because these are not discrete occurrences in the lives of our students. It must be embedded in our conversations with students, honored in our curriculum, visible in our hallways, present in our communications to the entire school community, and reflected on/with our students' communities and families.
There is no prescription. No right way. But, I am a firm believer that together, we can began to identify ways that allow schools to transform pedagogy so that it both honors our current realities and uses truth as a catalyst for student growth (and the growth of the entire school community).
In a conversation with WNYC, three student activists said they felt the effects of segregation, whether by attending schools that were entirely black and Latino and low income, or in schools with whiter and wealthier populations.