Saturday, August 31, 2013

Eye Openers

This past week, the administration at CCSD treated us to a 4 hour tour of the neighborhoods, history, and landmarks within our district's borders.  As a Cheektowaga native, I thought there wasn't much you could show me that I hadn't already seen.  I was wrong.  We learned about the history of the town and the first settlers here (Hitchcock).  We passed an Underground Railroad location and learned about the tremendous contributions the Rheinstein family made and continues to make.  We visited Buffalo Crushed Stone Quarry and were treated to a detonation of limestone (one in our group even got to push the button!).  It was a wonderful way to see the district in which we all will be teaching in just a few days.  There was one aspect of the tour that stood out in everyone's minds and that was the diversity of the neighborhoods in the district.  We saw neighborhoods in poverty conditions that bordered other neighborhoods in Buffalo more poverty stricken.  The bus took us through pastoral areas where the homes are valued upwards of $300,000 and the working class areas that seem to define Cheektowaga.  This is where our students live and knowing that will make it easier to identify with them in the coming year.  Thank you CCSD for an eye-opening orientation that would have made Pedro Noguera proud.

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