Press Release 2.5.01

For immediate release
For more information, contact:     

Kathy Rowan 704.541.7529 or

Stephanie Ansaldo 704.347.3844

 

CHILD ADVOCATE JONATHAN KOZOL IN CHARLOTTE TO LAUNCH THE ECHO FOUNDATION’S LIVING TOGETHER IN THE 21ST CENTURY

February 5, 2001 (Charlotte, NC) – Renowned child advocate and author Jonathan Kozol will launch The Echo Foundation’s newest educational project, Living Together in the 21st Century, with a lecture and dialogue, “The Resiliency of Children in an Age of National Division & Distrust” at 2p.m., February 17, 2001 at the Great Aunt Stella Center (926 Elizabeth Avenue).  Tickets ($15 each) are available by calling The Echo Foundation at 347-3844.  A signing of Kozol’s most recent book, Ordinary Resurrections: Children in the Years of Hope, immediately follows the lecture.

 

Kozol’s child advocacy crusade began in 1964 when he became a 4th grade teacher at a Boston public school.  Since then, he has been praised by national civil rights leaders, theologians, and scholars for his unswerving dedication to speaking out about equality education and social justice in America, and for giving voice to the struggle of inner city youth through his writings.  His award-winning books include: Death at an Early Age (1967), Rachel and Her Children (1987), and Amazing Grace (1995).  Kozol, a Rhodes scholar and Harvard graduate in English Literature, lives in Byfield, MA.

 

Living Together in the 21st Century is a pilot character education program that targets 2nd grade students in 10 Charlotte area schools from February 17 – March 16.  Its purpose is to reach children at a formative age, teaching them the values of honesty, compassion and respect, responsibility and cooperation.  At the suggestion of 1986 Nobel Laureate and Echo Foundation Honorary Chair Elie Wiesel, The Echo Foundation sought advice from Jonathan Kozol, in shaping a program centered around Wiesel’s concept that fostering compassion and respect at an early age prepares “tomorrow’s leaders” for working and living together in harmony.

 

In collaboration with representatives from Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools, the Cultural Education Collaborative, American Management Systems, Inc and Time Warner Cable, Echo has developed an interactive curriculum to show young children how to incorporate these values into their everyday lives.  Living Together in the 21st Century will ultimately be expanded for use in all elementary grade levels in the Charlotte area, and also serve as a national model.

 

School selected for the pilot program include eight public schools, one private school, and one charter school.  They are: Barringer Academic Center, Cannon School, Community Charter School, Cotswald Elementary, Dilworth Elementary, Hidden Valley Elementary, Landsdowne Elementary School, McKee Road Elementary, Sedgefield Elementary Schoold, and Statesville Road Elementary.  A liason teacher from each school participated in the curriculum writing process led by Rosebud Turner, former Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools Professional Development Specialist and Steve Hall, Principal, Pawtuckett Elementary School.

 

Living Together in the 21st Century begins February 17, with a Staff Development/Training Day (8 a.m. – 4 p.m.) at The Great Aunt Stella Center for all 2nd grade teachers from participating schools.  The project concludes with an all-day “Celebration of Hope” for 10 students from each school on March 16 at Spirit Square.  Activities are planned to further illuminate lessons learned, including a student-created theatrical presentation about the values taught during the 4-week character education program.

 

Living Together in the 21st Century is supported by school sponsorships from American Management Systems, Inc., BFGoodrich, Bank of America, and Lee Morgan General Contractors and with a grant from the Cultural Education Collaborative.  Companies interested in sponsoring a school should contact Echo President Stephanie Ansaldo at 347-3844.

 

The Echo Foundation was founded in 1997 by Stephanie G. Ansaldo to carry on the message that Nobel Peace Prize Winner Elie Wiesel brought to Charlotte during The Elie Wiesel Project – a call to action for human dignity, justice and moral courage.  The Echo Foundation is currently working on The Kerry Kennedy Cuomo Project, a human rights educational project for high school students surrounding Kennedy Cuomo’s Feb. 28, 2001 visit.  Past Echo programs include The Harry Wu Project (Spring 2000), the production of “The White Rose” (Spring 1999), The Varian Fry Project (Fall 1999), and a Charles Fawcett Visit (Fall 1998).