Freedom Writers is movie about teacher Erin Gruwell, played by Hilary Swank, and the students she taught at Woodrow Wilson High School, in Los Angles, California. I picked this movie for this particular month for several reasons:
- One of the main characters, Andre, is played by R&B singer/actor, Mario. Mario was a student of our newest SoulMate, Thaddeus Price! When I interviewed Thaddeus, he told me about a scene where Andre and his teacher are out in the hallway and she is trying to get him refocused, encouraging him to not let himself fail. Here’s what Thaddeus told Baltimore Magazine about that scene, “This scene was very real because it happened. Mario was getting into trouble in some of his classes. He was losing focus; his grades were slipping; he was being pressured by the wrong crowd to do the wrong things. I yanked him into my office and gave him a very, very tough-love, heart-to-heart talk, one that ended in tears. From that day forward, I saw a tremendous change in him, and, shortly thereafter, things began to take off with his career. When I saw the film, it freaked me out a bit.”
- To start the school year, Erin Gruwell tells the students to make “ A Toast for Change.”
- Mostly, I picked this movie because I hope that each child, as they make their way back to school this September, experiences a teacher like Erin Gruwell and Thaddeus Price. But please remember, you don’t have to have a classroom to be a great teacher and make a difference in a child’s life. Anyone’s life. I hope this movie will inspire you to do so.