At Grover Washington, Jr. Middle School in Philadelphia's inner city, English teacher Michael Galbraith has used the power of writing to help his students connect learning with their own lives. In collaboration with "Freedom Writers" founder Erin Gruwell, Galbraith adapted the nationally recognized high school writing project to accommodate his middle school learners. He presented each student with a writing journal and designed more than 150 writing prompts over the past several years to help students write about their lives. Galbraith has also provided his students with memorable learning experiences, such as "Need in Deed," a service learning project in which students interviewed families and friends of over 70 children in Philadelphia who were victims of homicide. The student writing from this project was recorded and published as part of National Public Radio's "Story Corps" program. His students' benchmark scores show high academic growth, with many moving out of the "below basic" level of achievement. In June 2007, Galbraith was selected to become a literacy teacher leader for the building.
1994 DePaul University, B.A.