The aim is to help connect students’ cultures, languages and life experiences.
“We have students from 80 different countries and America is involved in many different places. So sometimes when children have to learn about segregation and racism, it can be difficult for them, especially if they come from that background,” Groff said. .
For example, Groff’s students take pen to paper to express oppression.
“As students learn how artists have made an impact through art, such as resisting oppression in one way or another, students can now create their own art, and they actually do today. today,” he said.
Groff says it’s not just the art that helps students become more engaged, it’s also the relationships built between him, his students, and parents.
Groff’s efforts helped seventh grader Bryson Jackson become more interested in his work while boosting his confidence.
“In other classes, before I got to Mr. Groff, I was really bad, but I’m good in all classes now,” Jackson said.
He’s not the only student to benefit from a culturally appropriate education, and the numbers show it.
“For many students, I was able to increase their inquiry scores, their IDMs, by 50% this year. That’s a huge gain for some students who were unwilling to work at the start of the year,” Groff said. .