The Charter school I worked at, located in an old Catholic School building connected to a rectory, church, and convent (see Maria esta aqui!), used music as its central focus, providing students with a unique discipline and a positive way of working cooperatively with others. This experience, it was believed, would then impact all the other facets of learning to create more serious, focused, and successful students. Just a few days after the school opened its doors for the first time in 2001, the twin towers in New York fell.
Obviously we were all in shock. Being a new school without a long-established culture, we looked for ways to react constructively and meaningfully. Along with exploring our most sensitive responses to this event in the classroom together (teachers, staff, and students), the director of music had the students make very large letters, which the students enhanced with patterns and colors, and he placed them in the windows of the third floor. With one letter in each window, the message read Sing for Peace.
On the following Monday, I received a call from the parish priest.
“The sentiment in the windows is lovely.”
“Thank you. The students and the Music Director came up with the idea.”
“Yes. We actually had quite a crowd at church on Sunday.”
“Of course. I can totally understand why.”
“And they all gathered in the parking lot after services, staring at the windows on the third floor.”
“Really?! That’s very touching.”
“Well, yes. Apparently the “G” fell off the window.”
It took me a moment to understand. “Hmmm…… Do you think it will work?”