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February 23rd 2013:The Freedom Writers ~ An interview with educator, Erin Gruwell, the inspiration behind the movie, and Tiffony Jacobs, one of the original students

Who saw two-time Oscar Winner, Hillary Swank, portray Erin Gruwell in the Freedom Writers? It was a remarkable movie and this week Marianna will be interviewing the real-life teacher who inspired it—Erin Gruwell—as well as one of her students from the original classroom, Tiffony Jacobs. By fostering an educational philosophy that valued and promoted diversity, Erin Gruwell transformed her students’ lives. She encouraged them to re-think rigid beliefs about themselves and others, reconsider daily decisions, and ultimately re-chart their futures. With Erin’s support, they chose to forego teenag

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Erin Gruwell

While Erin Gruwell has been credited with giving her students a second chance‖, it was perhaps she who changed the most during her tenure at Wilson High School. She decided to channel her classroom experiences toward a broader cause, and today her impact as a teacher extends well beyond Room 203. Erin founded the Freedom Writers Foundation where she currently teaches teachers around the country how to implement her innovative lesson plans into their own classrooms. Recently, Erin’s teaching methods from her time in Room 203 have been published in the Freedom Writers Diary Teacher’s Guide. Proceeds from the sale of all books directly fund the Freedom Writers Foundation. Erin and her students
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Tiffony Jacobs

Tiffony Jacobs' home was chaotic growing up with her parents physically abusing each other and their children. Between the ages of 9 and 13, she bounced back and forth between California and Louisiana, moving from apartments to hotels, motels, and homeless shelters. In her sophomore year, Tiffony found herself in Ms. Gruwell’s English class and part of the Freedom Writers . It was a relief to be there and also have friends and peers to talk to. This is where she found the strength and determination to have a successful future. Tiffony graduated from Wilson High School in 1998 and earned a Bachelor’s Degree from California State University, Long Beach in 2007. She works closely with the Fre
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