"In The Identity Project I learned that I was smart. I learned that I can do new things, that I can dance and write a poem. I didn't know that, but now I know!"
- Jeiry Martinez (ELL student, age 11) Providence, RI
" I have taught in DCPS for the last 14 years, among some extremely talented people. Never before, however, have I been as impressed as I was last week upon seeing Alesandra Zsiba's work with the Maury first and second graders through the Literacy Lab program. The pictures she took and poems she facilitated with the children truly capture the essence of each child and, I feel, childhood. After 115 days together I feel like I know my students pretty well. After reading one of my student, Max's words, "if you tear your shoe you're looking at the universe..." I had a chance to see a side of him he does not show in class."
- Nathan Havner, 2nd Grade Teacher at Maury Elementary School, Washington DC
"When I started this program I didn't want to do it at all. I was scared. I was like, "No way, why would I want to express my feelings and stuff like that. But actually, with Alesandra's help, I actually liked it a lot. It makes me feel like if I get it out there, I'll get it off my mind. And, now I think I like to express myself this way."
- Brian Mendoza, (ELL student, age 14) Providence, RI
"Through this project it helps me as a teacher, when you show up in class and you don't have your uniform on, and your pants are down by your knees, or talking incessantly to the girls next to you, we just perceive you as being out of line. We don't know you, or get a chance to know you, the way that we would like to know you, because we have to abide by the curriculum and all of the things that we need to teach you. We unfortunately don't get an opportunity to learn about you. Through this project, for me and for all of the other teachers, we get to know things about you. So, in the future, if you guys can go out and become leaders, working with other kids and showing your next school community what you did here, maybe people won't make misconceptions or stereotype you for being something that you are not."
- Alex Lucini, Music Director at Roger Williams Middle School, Providence, RI
"I learned that I can turn a poem into rap. I liked working with my friends most to make a rap song. I also like the My Music Sounds Like poem, it made me think about every sound I hear at home and school. I had a lot of fun. I want to do it again."
- Joel Peguero, (ELL student, age 11) Providence, RI