Saturday, March 31, 2007

Crossroads Memories

Dear Fellow Crossroads Travelers,

In 1991, a small group of teachers from Simon Gratz High School got together and created a very special school within the larger high school named Crossroads. For the next fifteen years, hundreds of students participated in this program.

Over the years, I have received emails and phone calls from many Crossroads graduates and I have always been gratified by their positive memories of the program.

Last night ( March 30) a small group of Crossroads alumni met at the Paulo Freire Charter School in center city Philadelphia and began to share our memories of the program and the ways in which Crossroads has influenced our personal and professional lives. The alumni present at this meting are all working in the helping professions as teachers, nurses, administrators and counselors. All are concerned about the quality of life in their community and the current state of public education.

Since leaving Gratz in 1998, I have often been saddened and disappointed by our inability to sustain the program despite its proven success. I know that other teachers and students carried on in Crossroads for many years, fighting for its life, its autonomy and its ability to provide a personalized, meaningful and rigorous program in the face of bureaucratic and wrong-headed dictates from administrators.

After our meeting last night, I am no longer sad. I am positive and filled with hope. Because even though Crossroads does not exist as a program at Simon Gratz High School any more, the spirit and influence of Crossroads lives on in the students who experienced it.

I am establishing this blog as a place for Crossroads students and teachers to share their memories of Crossroads, discuss its influence on our lives and plan future meetings, get-togethers and reunions.

Looking forward to hearing from you.

All my best,
Marsha Pincus