Monday, February 8, 2010

The Achievement Gap, New Orleans, Teach for America and My Friend Jared

I have a friend named Jared Fox, who like me is a Lake Forest College alum. Jared was a member of the Class of 2009 and when he graduated, he chose to be part of Teach for America in New Orleans because he wanted to help close the achievement gap that so many kids in New Orleans fall into. Jared has a heart of gold and I could write all day about all of his achievements at LFC and the ways in which he made a difference for the student body and the Lake Forest community as a whole. To say I'm proud to know Jared, I'm honored to count him among my friends and that he makes me want to be a better person would be an understatement.

Jared's mission in life is to leave the world a better place by helping others be better than they ever imagined they could be. I have no doubt he achieves his mission on a daily basis.

He posted a note on Facebook tonight asking for some help for his students. I've posted the note along with the video he made below. Can you help or do you know someone who could help?

Something Old, Something New, Something Borrowed, Something Blue

Over 2,000 people have met Mr. Fox's students (see below). Now we need your help.

Mr. Fox is trying to start a prize box for his little fox's and we need your help to fill it. See, when students do something amazing, shouldn't they be rewarded? I'm looking to fill a Rubbermaid container with random goodies for my amazing students to pick out of when they exceed my high expectations.

That's where you come in. I need your help to fill it.

Look around your house. Ask your friends. That old t-shirt you got as a promo from Subway? A little figurine? A mousepad? The most random things you can find...I want them.

Maybe you've already done your spring cleaning, so why don't you run to Walmart and pick up some candy bars or bags of Skittles and send them this way?

You can send all contributions to:

Mr. Fox's Classroom
West Jefferson High School
2200 8th Street
Harvey, LA 70058

Goal: One rubbermaid container full by February 23, 2009.

[Note: If you'd like to help out in a especially amazing way, we are also in need of a printer for the classroom. I teach seniors and printing college applications, ACT registrations and scholarship forms can add up!]

We, New Orleans

a poem by Mr. Fox's English III class

hold these truths to be self evident
that New Orleans stands tall
within ourselves
that we all deserve to be happy
that I can be the best boxer that ever lived besides Muhammad Ali
that we didnt land on Plymouth Rock, that Plymouth Rock landed on us
that the Saints are our saviors

Monday, August 29, a day which will live in infamy
a girl named Katrina destroyed my city
New Orleans was attacked, fell off the map, but is back
my house drowned
and Northern birds flew south to sing songs of sorrow

we needed to ask
not what youre your country could do for you
but what
the people of New Orleans
your city
could do for
for a better future
for the U.S.

I have a dream
that my ancestors will be proud
that one day I can help my people
to be president
that being unique and different will be accepted
where our fore fathers
and mothers
can bring forth a new nation
conceived in liberty and dedicated to
my future
bounce music
real equality

think of it
as one small step for
and a giant leap for

I dont know what course others may take
but as for me
Give me a book
or give me a gun
Give me the chance to read
or trap me in a minimum wage job
Im going to do what I have to do

I am happy to join with
my family
New Orleans
Teach for America

ten years from now

in what will go down in history
as the greatest demonstration for freedom in the history
of our nation
for every person to get where Im trying to get

the freedom of every child to get a great education
to make something of myself
to change the world
to close the achievement gap

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