In 1994, Erin Gruwell began teaching at Woodrow Wilson High School in Long Beach, California. Like many first year teachers, Erin was assigned the unmotivated, unnoticed, and “un-teachable” students. Erin strongly believed that education could overcome even the worst kinds of adversity and was determined that her 150 “at-risk” students receive the same opportunities as everyone else. Four years later all 150 students, dubbed the Freedom Writers, graduated from high school.
Ms. Gruwell (the teacher made famous from Hilary Swank’s movie The Freedom Writers & more commonly known as “Ms G”) talks to us about joining with the Springfield School District to bring the curriculum that revolutionized her classroom to Springfield. Assistant school superintendent Lydia Martinez and Mayor Sarno’s chief of staff Denise Jordan join her.