I am heading down to New Orleans this summer with a group from my college to help restart schools in areas that still don't have any to this day, or which have schools that the administration opened illegally (because FEMA has a 2-year waitlist for checking buildings before gutting and rebuilding, and they're not letting schools open first, so no one is moving back because what the fuck do they have to move back to?) and are running only on what the community can give them (which is very little). Bard is sending down a group of students to tutor in the 2 high schools open right now (only 2 with as little as 12 teachers for over 1,000 students), and another program (which I personally will be involved with) that will be providing a place for kids to learn over the summer, because they have all been without schools for a year now.
I am asking for a liason to work with from inside the school, to help me get books to kids who need them in New Orleans. One of the reasons I'll need help is because I'm not coming home till the 17th and then I won't be home again from may 10th until june 3rd, and the new orleans project start june 4th (tho I will be there june 10th). SO can someone plese volunteer to help me out with this? It'd be very little work on your part, mainly just getting out of class to pester mr. green and Mrs. Duerbig, probably dig around in the storage room, and possibly go thru old books in the library (and talk to the librarian). It'd be a more important life skill than that shitty proposal you write for senior year (oh wait...why didn't I write that? How come I'm succeeding at other proposals? hrmmm...(i'm not bitter, i swear)). I'm not sure if I even need help, but it'd be greatly appreciated.
I've just started the process of getting HHS to commit to giving me old books that would otherwise be thrown out for the project. I'm looking specifically for anywhere from 50-150 books, preferably novels, poetry, etc. (textbooks are good too), that are preferably non euro-normative. That is - books that will reflect and empower the communities where they will be read, so The Color Purple, Harlem Renaissance poetry, Zora Neale Hurston, To Kill a Mockingbird (definitely would be great for new orleans right now), Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe (would be PERFECT but I don't remember that being in our curriculum, tho he does teach here at Bard), etc. etc.
Also, if you're wondering why these two schools will be open in the summer, it is because the students (regaurdless of natural and political disasters) still have to pass a HSPA-like test to graduate from public schools. Despite that most of these kids have lived through more than you and I can even begin to understand, they are still required to fill in bubbles on what the third angle in a triangle is. So schools will be open until July, maybe even into august, and we must all help out however we can.
Please comment if you are interested, and if I already know you (this applies to all of 2 people), I'll give you a call, otherwise, leave your e-mail or phone number and I'll get back to you as soon as possible.
If you have any questions, concerns, or just want to help out, please e-mail me at ar653 (at) bard (dot) edu