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Author Trevor Barton

Trevor Barton teaches fourth grade and is a member of First Baptist Church in Greenville, South Carolina.

Six out of 10 students at the school where I teach in South Carolina are from the countrysides or inner cities of Mexico, Central America and South America. Many of them are like Paola, a first-grader from El Salvador who lives in a small apartment with her grandma, mom, sister and uncle. She is a […] Read More

My shoes thumped the city sidewalk, pounding out the rhythm that runners make as they use their feet to travel from one place to another. I was close enough to the end of my three-mile run and far enough from the Charlotte Ballet building where my son, Zeke, was dancing so I slowed down to […] Read More

Jesse Owens placed the notion of white supremacy under the worldwide microscope in the summer of 1936 by winning the gold medal in the 100-meter, 200-meter, 4×100-meter relay and long jump at the summer Olympics in Nazi Germany. Franklin Delano Roosevelt was on his way to winning 60.8 percent of the popular vote and 523 […] Read More

Virgil Morrison Jr. was a 68-year-old man when I met him. Everyone called him “Junior,” but there was nothing junior about him. He was 6-foot-5 and weighed 300 pounds. He smiled an endearing, toothless smile. His feet were size 16, his shoes looked like boats. He was balding, with clumps of white hair on the […] Read More

We set out first thing one morning to check on the ripening fruit. It was early summer when more and more tomatoes were changing from shades of green to shades of red. When you are a farmer, there is thankfulness deep inside of you when the growing is almost done and the harvesting is about […] Read More

On my best days, I am quiet. “You have two ears and one mouth,” said my grandpa one day as we walked together down a row of tomatoes. “So you should listen twice as much as you speak. You might learn something if you listen.” I looked into his watery blue eyes. Watery with memories […] Read More

Gregory Boyle is a Jesuit priest and the founder of Homeboy Industries in East Los Angeles, California. He lives and works in his economically poor and gang-riddled community, building kinship and making close relationships and connections with the people around him. He affectionately calls his parishioners “homies,” and they affectionately call him “G-Dog.” I highly […] Read More

A little boy from Honduras is in my classroom. He speaks Spanish but is learning English and tries with all his heart to learn new words and strange phrases that will allow him to live in his new world here. He is 9 years old. Dark hair cuts straight across his forehead in a wonderfully […] Read More

Most mornings, his mom wheels into the school parking lot at 7:55 a.m. The car is old and loud, with the potent smell of burning oil and the clanging sound of a dragging muffler. A safety patrol officer opens the door, and he tumbles out of the car. Papers from his half-opened backpack tumble out […] Read More

“A blue whale’s heart is as big as a Volkswagen Beetle,” I told a group of wide-eyed, open-mouthed second-graders at my school. “It is so big, you could walk around inside of it.” I was bringing S.O.L.E. to my classroom – the Self-Organized Learning Environment advocated by Sugata Mitra in his TED Talk titled “The […] Read More