By Madison Yinger Lopez, Project Coordinator
Can a movement begin to form around the voices of the young people who risked their lives to pursue the American dream, as they understood it, and as they needed it so very badly?
As our nation faces some of the most desperate turmoil of our time, we urge you to raise your voice and join us in the fight for the very soul of our nation.
We have chosen this unprecedented time when teachers are struggling to connect with their students online to release a collection of materials designed for classroom use, including videos by student authors who crossed deserts and mountains and rivers alone, curriculum suggestions, and a compendium of activities that can set a tone of true inquiry and equity, with the voices of immigrant students leading the way.
Like so many teachers across the globe, the threat of COVID-19 changed the way I think about teaching forever. I was no longer asking myself questions like “What’s the most engaging way I can teach adjective agreement?” but instead, “How do I tell my students I hear you, I see you, and I’m right here with you?” because in the end, that’s what our young world-changers need to hear – now more than ever. By teaching literature written by students their age, it creates a new sense of familiarity, and of purpose. It’s like a hand is reaching through the computer screen, grabbing our students and saying, ‘Hey! We care about you! We want to hear your thoughts and your story.”
What began as a study guide to go along with Brave Journeys/Pasos valientes — as it makes its way into more and more school districts on Long Island and beyond– has grown into something far greater, as the centerpiece for a new collective of educators and allies for immigrant justice.
For the last week or two, we in Herstory have been putting the finishing touches on the first set of offerings for teachers, school counselors, school administrators and allies who are using Brave Journeys to help turn the tide. We’ve been editing videos and other materials for use in the virtual classroom by students who are needing to find support in this time of pandemic. We’ve been putting together an interactive website and study guide with the very large dream that this student-written book will find its way into more and more classrooms, celebrating our young heroes as together we look for new ways.
Now, it is our deepest honor to present to you the Brave Journeys Study Guide: an answer to the resounding call for equitable resources that can be seamlessly integrated into ELA, WL, ENL and other predetermined curricula – whether teaching in synchronous or asynchronous classrooms. Our guide will be hosted on an accessible online platform and includes printable PDF versions of the stories that appear in Brave Journeys, study materials and videos to share with your students, opportunities to participate in building the website, virtual meetings, classroom visits by the authors and much more.
For an introductory annual fee of $10 a month you can become a member. To preview the website and its resources, click here.
With fingers crossed for today and the days and months ahead, we send you our love and wish all a safe journey in this land.