This month's grant has been awarded to The Passion Project, a high school ELA curriculum for students to find a passion and work with a mentor to produce their final project. Past participants in the program have designed video games, produced albums, planned art galleries, designed forensic investigation game shows, written novels, and produced short films, to name a few.
Grant recipient Shawn Waterman writes:
I’m honored to have been selected as November’s winner of the Awesome NYC grant. My public teaching career began in Brooklyn, New York, where I was fortunate enough to be mentored by talented and progressive educators that inspired me to discover innovative ways to connect with and engage young learners.
Over the past eleven years, I’ve developed a high school ELA curriculum that challenges students to discover a passion, research it, work with a mentor, create a final product, and then share it with their local community. I envision an ELA classroom where students are developing their literacy skills through the exploration of their own personal hobbies and interests.
With this Awesome NYC grant, I plan to pilot a Professional Development program for educators at The Nelson Mandela School for Social Justice. The work will involve tailoring the curriculum to the school’s specific needs and providing support throughout implementation.
I hope to bring this program to schools across the nation, and I’m so excited that the Awesome NYC grant is providing me with the opportunity to introduce my idea in New York City, where my own passion for education took root!
Funded by New York City, NY (November 2021)