Our Lives Matter

See! This book right here demonstrates how a movement should be constructed. Instead of focusing on the negative people within a community who often times get the publicity for their actions, it's best to demonstrate to others, especially minorities and those of low economic status, that there are individuals out there who are trying their best to change their outcome. Our lives matter showed me, a fellow African, that there are kids in inner cities who are going against the status quo of doing or selling drugs, getting pregnant or just not caring about life. It was refreshing and sad to see that some of these teens had to grow up quickly because of their parents and their situations.

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Our Lives Matter

The common theme through “Our Lives Matter” is one of hope and determination. These teenagers refuse to be judged and pigeonholed, offering their stories to emphasize their differences, their commonalities, their dreams and their commitment to education and change. Through it all forms a thread of hope that the new generation will make the world a better place and fight the barriers that keep us separated.

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How To Grow Up Like Me

Literally one hour after I had cataloged and displayed the book How to Grow up Like Me by The Ballou Story Project in our middle school library, it was seized upon by an 8th grade boy who is a reluctant reader, and to my knowledge, had only checked out one other book while in middle school. He made an instant connection with the honest and powerful stories written inside. This student ran down to show the book to his reading teacher and, according to her, he is absolutely captivated and now can’t wait to come to class to read the stories and hear the voices of these courageous authors. This is a great victory. Thank you for sharing this inspiring collection with our students. This is real. This is life-changing.

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How To Grow Up Like Me

I was so inspired by the powerful stories published by your students from Ballou! The narrative is so similar to my students here in Memphis and so many kids from urban school districts around the country. There is a need for a writing project like this in Memphis. Our students just don’t have as many opportunities as they should to express how they feel and to be listened to.

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