Three years ago we met and quickly bonded over food, books, music and strong opinions about children and education. As teachers in the same Third Grade class, we both saw an amazing development of self-confidence and empowerment among our students as they were encouraged to write. Especially when working with Big Class volunteers and artists, students learned about themselves and others through writing.
They expressed themselves in many ways - usually on sticky notes pasted willy nilly in the classroom, in journals on topics of superpowers, race, and recess, and even by typing and learning how to use Google docs. Through any medium, these eight-year-olds let their imaginations run free and created work that defines their progress as learners. That work included:
- Fairy tales with a modern flavor in "Can Your Shoes Do Magic?" publicly read at Maple Street Book Shop
- Messages and missives to a wide audience in "Letters to America" captured in a video diary by New Orleans Video Access Center (https://vimeo.com/novacvideo/dearamerica)
- Undrawable Stories Challenge housed at the Opera House for local artists to illustrate
- Pizza Poetry project in celebration of National Poetry Month to grace pizza-lovers all over the city with odes to pizza on their orders
Big Class is so dear to us because we both are passionate about children growing as writers and having genuine opportunity to share their voice. Big Class helps amplify that voice around our city, and they are trying to reach even more young writers by building a new creative space.
Help us support Big Class! Donate today and we'll mail you a special "signed edition" of our students published work. The TOP three donors will receive a homemade, baked-with-love treat from us.
Also, if New Orleans is your home, stay tuned for a chance to join us and talented teacher/friend/yogi/artist Martin Benson in a guided meditation and yoga session in October! With a small donation, you can soak up creative, friendly vibes, release teacher tension, AND support the work Big Class does.
Learn more about Big Class: http://bigclass.org/
Contact Maureen or Audrey with questions or to find out how you can support Big Class with your time, energy and talents!