What would I do if my family didn’t have enough food? What would it be like to go about my day without electricity? What do I have now that I’ve been taking for granted?
These are just some of the questions 8th grade scholars considered as they learned about issues of scarcity and abundance of resources this fall. Hurricane Maria became their focus, with it creating a real-world example of resource scarcity that also hit close to home for many of our scholars. Their parents were born in Puerto Rico. Their grandparents, cousins, aunts and uncles still live there. They knew someone without running water or electricity.
These connections assisted scholars as they drew comparisons between the challenges of living in New Bedford and the challenges of those living in Puerto Rico when the hurricane hit in September. Together, they wrote a collection of poems called “Two Voices” about those differences and connections between their lives and the lives of young people living in Puerto Rico.
This project challenged scholars to look at the world through a new lens. It allowed them to gain new perspective on the challenges they, and others their age, face today. The 8th grade class launched a campaign to support the Unidos Para Familias Fund, which supports Puerto Rican families who have been displaced to New Bedford in the aftermath of the hurricane.
This is just one example of how we infuse community, culture, and our mantra of Learn.Lead.Serve.Succeed at Alma.