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In Crown Heights, Getting Past Stereotypes Through Learning

Wednesday, May 02, 2012 - 01:09 AM

Four recent immigrants from the Caribbean attend high school in the heart of what was the epicenter of the Crown Heights riots 20 years ago. But, as newcomers, the students at the High School for Global Citizenship knew nothing about the neighborhood’s fraught history.

Then they embarked on a reporting workshop with WNYC's Radio Rookies called Neighborhood to Neighborhood. This was done in partnership with Facing History and Ourselves, an organization that teaches students and teachers to learn to combat prejudice with compassion, indifference with participation, and myth and misinformation with knowledge.

Watch the video, above, reported by Selena Brown, Chantell Clarke, Tangeneka Taylor and Sabrina Smith. They start out fearful of the Jewish Lubavitch community living alongside them, but, with the help of a teacher and other adults, they gradually uncover nuances and a much deeper understanding of their neighbors.

Make sure to watch the conversation they have with a group of teenage girls from a yeshiva school in their neighborhood.

For the teachers out there: If you asked your students, “How much does your life in school intersect with your life outside school?,” what do you think they would say? Why? How well do you think you bring “the real world,” and students’ lives and voices, into your classroom -- and what happens when you do? The Learning Network is asking.

You will have the opportunity to discuss the answers with your colleagues from around the city at a SchoolBook event on May 8. It's a "teach-in" for educators who are seeking creative ways to integrate students' voices and experiences in the classroom, while staying on track with the curriculum requirements.

For more information, and to reserve a free ticket, click here.

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