Monday, April 29, 2013

Girl Rising

We went to a special screening of the documentary Girl Rising this evening. Organized by a parent at our school, the theater was packed, mostly with women and girls. The movie itself, the stories of nine girls from developing countries and the impact that education has and might have on their lives, was interesting, a compelling mix of sobering and uplifting. The production was creative, too, partnering each girl with a renowned female writer from her region and a celebrity narrator, but it was the girls who stole the show.

For the last twenty years I have worked in one of the most diverse schools in our nation; in any given year we have students from well over 25 countries, and the faces of the girls in the movie, from Peru, Haiti, Ethiopia, Cambodia, Egypt, Nepal, India, Sierra Leone, and Afghanistan echoed the faces of so many of the students I have taught. Even their names were the same in some cases: Mariama, Amina, Azmera, Suma, and Yasmine.

This movie reminded me that as many problems as we think we have in American education today, what we offer our students, while perhaps never good enough, is still quite extraordinary.

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