Freedom Writers Essay Summary Writing
Published by Broadway in 1999, The Freedom Writers Diary chronicles the true story of English teacher Erin Gruwell and her first teaching assignment in Long Beach, California, working with students other teachers deemed "unteachable." Gruwell quickly learned that her students had more to worry about than homework; her students went home to gunfire, gangs, drugs, and a host of other difficult situations. The students were convinced that they had nothing to learn from a white woman who had never experienced firsthand the violence, discrimination, and hatred that was part of their everyday lives.
One day, Gruwell intercepted a note being passed between students; the paper revealed a racist caricature full of hate. Gruwell told her class that it was this sort of hate and misunderstanding that led to the Holocaust. Gruwell was shocked to learn that her students had never heard of the Holocaust.
Gruwell introduced her class to Anne Frank: The Diary of a Young Girl and to Zlata's Diary: A Child's Life in Sarajevo. She also provided every student with a journal in order for them to have a place to discuss their feelings, their fears, and their experiences. For the first time, the students took an interest in academics.
To bring this history to life, the students organized a "Read-a-Thon for Tolerance" to raise money to bring Miep Gies, the woman whose family hid Anne Frank, to their school. They were also visited by Zlata Filipovic. The group went on to receive tremendous recognition from the media and from the government, hoping that others would find inspiration in their story of success. Perhaps the pinnacle of their success was winning the Spirit of Anne Frank Award in 1998. The group traveled to New York to receive their award. In 1999, the group traveled to Europe together where they visited the Anne Frank House and various concentration camps.
It is nothing less than a miracle that all 150 of the Freedom Writers graduated from high school and went on to college. It is likely that none of their achievements would have been possible without Gruwell's fierce determination and perseverance.
In 2007, Paramount Pictures released The Freedom Writers starring Academy Award winner Hilary Swank as Erin Gruwell.
Summary, Reaction, and Analysis Paper #1: The Freedom Writers Diary The Freedom Writers Diary is based on a true story that takes place at Wilson High School in Long Beach, California. Wilson High School was always known for being an upper class white school but that soon changed. Students began to be bussed in which created a more diverse school. Erin Gruwell experienced this first hand when she was offered her first teaching job at Wilson in 1994. Ms. Gruwell was not given just any teaching job, she had been asked to work with the at-risk students. Every other teacher and the administrative board looked down on these students. Ms. Gruwell knew she had to be the one to view them differently and give them a chance from the beginning. This proves to be difficult within the first weeks of school. The students quickly show Ms. Gruwell they are not interested in school or what she had to say. About a month into school was when the students really started to change as individuals. This happened after Ms. Gruwell caught a note going around the room that had a drawing of one of the students named Sharaud. The picture had an African American male with huge lips. Ms. Gruwell used this negative situation as a learning opportunity. She compared the drawing to Jews during the Holocaust. She gained the students’ attention immediately and knew this would be her new way of teaching. Her new goal was to create learning through books, guest speakers, and field trips. Ms. Gruwell knew she had made progress, but there was a long journey ahead still. After struggling with the school about getting new books she decided to go find her own. Ms. Gruwell introduced several books that students would be able to relate to. Some of the books were: Twelve Angry Men , Night by Elie Wiesel, The Wave by Todd Strasser, Anne Frank: The Diary of a Young Girl , and Zlata’s Diary . Many of the students did not believe they would be able to relate to the books, but then quickly learned other wise. Mrs. Gruwell had each student