Learning While Helping by allie912

Learning While Helping

The call went out for volunteers to help edit essays by the students at Cristo Rey High School. For the 68 members of the Freshmen class, 71 volunteers responded. The students were learning to write reflective pieces in response to a 1903 work by W.E.B.Dubois,
"The Souls of Black Folk", which marks His conversion from dedicated scholar to vocal advocate for the empowerment of the black race. It was, quite literally, an evolution from theory to practice. In this collection of essays, Du Bois was able to introduce the idea of "double consciousness" and "the veil," which have provided a framework for how African-Americans experience society.
Each student was expected to frame a response to DuBois after viewing a video or reading another essay on the same topic. They were then expected to give their opinion on whether this same racism still exists today and finally frame an opposing reaction. It was a challenging exercise for young writers. I enjoyed reading their work and discussing how they reached their conclusions. I did help with punctuation and word choice but spelling help was provided by the laptop! Each session was 30 minutes. The students were delightful, respectful and eager to learn. It was a great experience for the volunteers, and I hope for the students as well.
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