Monitor article inspires a generous act

Nancy Barile, an English teacher at Revere High School in Massachusetts, liked to call her recent award from the College Board a "gift that keeps on giving." But she's stunned by the goodwill that's come her way since a Monitor article ("An innovative teacher turns kids into writers," March 15) profiled her inspiring efforts to turn teens into better writers.

A reader in California donated $5,500 to Ms. Barile and her school to help start a club that will connect immigrant students with more academic and social support.

Barile says she received a letter from the woman, who asked to remain anonymous, on March 27. It offered to potentially help her on her quest to "save the world" and asked if she had any unfunded project ideas. Barile quickly responded with an e-mail about her vision for a Revere Culture Club.

Two days later, she received the check in the mail and turned it over to the district office to be invested as seed money. At the donor's suggestion, $500 will go toward purchasing a video camera so the students in the club can create video journals of their experiences.

Barile says the donor saw the Monitor article linked on a website called CThings (www.cthings.com), which states that it aims to show "the amazing things people are doing to alter life as we know it."

The two women are staying in touch via e-mail about various ideas Barile has brewing. And she's also received a string of other feedback resulting from the Monitor article, including an invitation to help write lesson plans for the National Council of Teachers of English.

"You have no idea how much the article ... has profoundly impacted my life and the lives of my students!!" Barile wrote in an e-mail to this reporter on the day she received the check. "Needless to say, I am - and everyone else at my school is - completely BLOWN AWAY by this wonderful act of generosity and thoughtfulness."

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