Erin Gruwell was on a mission to teach. Little did she know, she'd be teaching the kids that didn't fit in, the kids that would never amount to anything, the kids that wouldn't live to see graduation...
Mrs. G started her first day with the hopes of making a difference. Instead, her students ruled the classroom. They hated each other, but collectively hated Mrs. G even more. These kids had seen and experienced more things than most people see in their entire lives. Yet, they were only 14 and 15 years old. The Freedom Writers started as a class project. Each day students were encouraged to write about their home lives, their family lives, and themselves. They were private diaries, unless the allowed Mrs. G the privilege to read into their lives. She learned how tough this kids lives were. They were homeless, abused, drug addicts, alcoholics, gang members, even mothers. Mrs. G was an outsider; she didn't know the dynamics of Long Beach. She didn't know the violence these kids faced every day on their way to and from school. She began to realize what she needed to do. She needed to teach the kids to pick up a pen and put down the gun.
The Freedom Writers made a name for themselves with the help of Mrs. G and Room 203, their "kick-it spot." Mrs. G became their voice, their mentor, and their mother. She made learning an experience they will never forget. The journals were just the beginning. Sophomore year, Mrs. G found books that related to some of the experiences her students had been through. Such as The Diary of Anne Frank, Zlata's Diary: A Child's Life in Sarajevo, The Catcher in the Rye, The Color Purple, and countless articles. Mrs. G arranged many visits ranging from Zlata herself, to Miep Gies, to John Tu, to many government officials. Her students also had a chance to go to Washington D.C., New York, and Europe. This mission changed their lives. The Freedom Writers became a household name. The Freedom Writers wanted to make a difference, the Freedom Writers DID make a difference, and continue making a difference today!
THE FREEDOM WRITERS HAVE A DREAM AND THAT DREAM HAS COME TRUE.
Visit The Freedom Writers Foundation for more information and to find out how you can make a difference.
To support or acknowledge the Freedom Writers, you can send contributions to:
Freedom Writers Foundation
P.O. Box 41505
Long Beach, CA 90853
Below I have also included a clip of the Freedom Writers movie:
Since this movie has been released, The Freedom Writers have also filmed a documentary called Voices Unbound: The Story of The Freedom Writers.