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Students Judge Essays for Max Warburg Courage Curriculum

Elizabeth Evans & Kit Beaudouin

Kit Beaudouin ’72 of Beaver’s Hiatt Center of Social Justice Education organized the visit. Ms Beaudouin, who has served as a Warburg reader for the past decade, thought asking Beaver students to compare and evaluate essays on courage would tie in well with the school’s own curriculum in social justice. She and Ms. Evans stressed that the students should judge the essays on the substance of the message as much as for the writing style. Ultimately, about 50 of the best essays will be published in a book.

Max Warburg was 11 years old when he lost a courageous battle with leukemia in 1991. The Courage Curriculum is part of a comprehensive literacy program for sixth grade students in Boston Public Schools that includes a reading list of six novels whose characters must confront challenges with courage.

Some examples of courage, as defined by a few of the sixth graders whose essays were included the 2009 book:

“It takes a lot of courage to accept what comes to you, but you might also find some good from the experience.” (Marquette Welch)

“Courage is accepting responsibility for one’s actions, in spite of the obstacles.” (Darianna Santana)

“Courage is speaking up for what you believe in and believing in yourself to do this.” (Giselle Bodden)

“Courage is when you don’t lose hope in what you are doing and follow your dream.” (Youssr Attia)

“To me, courage is liking yourself for who you are. It doesn’t matter what other people say. All you need to worry about is liking yourself.” (Jacqueline Sindoris)

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