Prison Pete

Friday, May 16, 2008
  Tears in my eyes redux.
While printing out the draft of my post I was looking through my backlog of newspapers. I came across an article that brought tears to my eyes. "For Bronx School's Dancers, the Moves Are Irish", New York Times; March 14, 2008.

Caroline Duggan came over from Ireland at the age of 23 accepting a job to teach music at PS 59 in The Bronx. One has to wonder why we can not produce our own music teachers, but then again when most of the arts programs were cut from schools in the eighties. Duh.

This story highlights the difference one individual can make. I encourage you to read the story, but let me give you the highlights.

Over the last six years, Ms. Duggan has developed an Irish dance troupe, which last year managed a trip to Ireland for 32 students and 19 chaperones. The group of Bronx school children performed on Ireland's "Late Late Show" and at the official residence of the president of Ireland. They also marched in this year's St. Patrick's Day Parade in New York City.

Did I mention that the school Ms. Duggan teaches at is 71 percent Hispanic and 27 percent black? The first trip to Ireland cost $70,000 and the funds were provided by a network of Irish-American New Yorkers.

That is what I want to do. Make a difference in other people's lives. As the quote the hangs on my wall says, "Life's most persistent and urgent question is, what are you doing for others?" Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
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