Michael F. Devine, Superintendent
180 Harborview Road
Hull, MA 02045
For Immediate Release
Tuesday, Oct. 23, 2018
Contact: John Guilfoil
Email: [email protected]
Grant Enables Hull High School Students to Explore Their Personal Stories and Examine Issue of Immigration Through Art
HULL — Superintendent Michael Devine is pleased to announce that Hull High School is hosting a traveling photo-text exhibit chronicling the struggles of refugees and immigrants through late November.
The exhibit, Building Bridges: Portraits of Immigrants and Refugees, was created by The Family Diversity Project and was made possible through a grant awarded to art teacher Amanda Davis by Teaching Tolerance. The exhibit will continue through Nov. 22.
Teaching Tolerance Educator Grants support educators who embrace and embed anti-bias principles throughout their schools. These grants support projects that promote affirming school climates and educate youth to thrive in a diverse democracy. Teaching Tolerance is a program by the Southern Poverty Law Center.
The grant also funded a visit from Connecticut artist and spoken word poet Zulynette Morales. She visited Hull High School for three days and facilitated workshops with students in their art, English and Spanish classes. Workshops included writing original poems, facilitator performances, group poetry writing/sharing, student performances and the creation of a visual representation of their individual poems.
Students wrote about their identity and spoke on issues relevant to themselves and their school community using inspiration from the Building Bridges exhibit, writing prompts and lived experiences. They learned performance poetry skills and created a school-wide open mic event where they shared poetry and encouraged community participation.
“Through exposure to different stories of identity, students will gain a greater appreciation for the differences and similarities between themselves, their peers and members of various cultures,” Davis said. “My vision is for the project to encourage a positive school climate by empowering students to express their creativity and individuality, build confidence and let their voices be heard within the community. By celebrating our differences and creating a safe space for expression, we will cultivate an atmosphere of acceptance and understanding.”
The project aims to empower students to investigate their own stories, the stories of others and how those stories intersect. Through this exploration, students develop a positive view of themselves and others through reading, writing, performing and creating/interpreting art. Additionally, the project will help students understand their place in an ongoing story of immigration that began with groups that included members of their own ethnic backgrounds and continues today through changing immigrant populations.