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What would we learn if we could interview a whale? How is your neighborhood, your city, or your family like an ecosystem? Is diversity as advantageous in a community of people as it is in a coral reef? How does our environment affect us, and how do we affect our environment? These questions are both age-old and urgent, and in this collection, ninth and tenth graders from John O’Connell High School in San Francisco set out to answer them. From watching their neighborhoods change around them to living with the knowledge of the threats of climate change, these young authors are uniquely and powerfully poised to investigate and answer these big questionsand their answers contain insights everyone should hear.
This book contains resources for teachers, including a curriculum guide aligned with current Biology and English content standards, plus loads of inspiration for any aspiring writer, biologist, or educator.
Joya Banerjee is a Program Officer at the S. D. Bechtel, Jr. Foundation, a private family foundation based in San Francisco, where she oversees a grant portfolio that advances the sustainable management of California’s water resources. Prior to joining the foundation, Joya was an attorney at Latham & Watkins and worked for the New York City Mayor’s Office. Joya graduated from the University of Southern California with a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration, and she received a Juris Doctor degree from Columbia Law School. She lives in San Francisco and serves on the board of 826 Valencia.
John O'Connell High School offers a unique model, focused on real world, deeper learning. With a focus on preparing for both college and the professional world, students participate in rigorous integrated projects at all grade levels to help them see rich connections across different areas.
Molly Parent has been coordinating educational programs to support youth with their creative and expository writing skills at 826 Valencia since 2012. Prior to joining the team at 826, she was a bookseller at Green Apple Books in San Francisco.