I love it when when something inspiring makes me fight back tears, because crying for a good reason is a beautiful thing. This video of 1st grade students from Boston’s Orchard Gardens K-8 Pilot School reciting MLK's "I Have a Dream" speech did just that. Posted by a teacher from their school at TeacherPop, I stumbled across this gem while researching for a piece I'm writing, and couldn't wait to learn more about these students, their teachers and their school.
Formerly ranked one of the “worst performing schools in the state of Massachusetts”, Orchard Gardens has seen a recent increase in student performance, and it is easy to see why. With dedicated teachers like Darlene White-Dotti, who has long taught her students the speech not just as a history lesson, but also to provide them with an understanding of the sacrifices made in order for them to have the opportunities they have today, it is no wonder students are succeeding and enjoying taking an active part in their education.
Having worked at Rocketship Education, I know what it means to roll up your sleeves and rise up from the shadow of the term "underperforming". I know how much these children are eager to succeed and how hard their parents work to support them - emotionally and financially. This story warms my heart, because it truly does take village.
Enjoy the video below. Be inspired and share the dream.