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Norland Students Publish Book Detailing Experiences


Jun 15, 2017

Special to South Florida Times

MIAMI GARDENS, Fla. – Norland Senior High School was buzzing on Tuesday, May 30. The media trucks and cameras were visible. Many visitors could be seen going and coming.

Since the school is located in a high crime ridden area of Miami Gardens, one might have thought another offense had been committed and a round up for questioning was about to ensue. Unfortunately that’s the typical expectation, but fortunately that day the reality was quite different.

The media and visitors present were invited to support, promote and participate in a book signing for “iRead, iThink, iWrite,” a compilation of stories, narratives and poems about their lives written by Norland students, now sophomores, who were part of the ‘Freshman Experience,’ an elective at the school, during their ninth grade year.

Norland teacher Glenda Moton taught the elective and spoke regularly with her students. Students told Moton stories of gang violence, depression, death, drugs and dysfunction in the family unit.

The most poignant observation Moton made, however, was the running theme of dreams deferred. Many of the students expressed utter despair and only saw a bleak future ahead for them if they made it to adulthood.

After hearing the stigma students held of growing up in Miami Gardens, also called “Murder Gardens” by some, Moton was determined to re-establish some semblance of hope for a bright future for her students.

She assigned students to read, “We Beat the Street,” the true stories of Drs. George W.

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