NYC Teacher Fundraises To Take Underprivileged Students To Spain, Teaching Them A Lesson Textbooks Can't

"There’s no place in the world where I don’t belong."

English teacher Eric Jordan from the Frederick Douglass Academy VII in Brownsville, Brooklyn wants to teach his class an important lesson that can't be found in any one textbook — and he wants to do it by taking his students to Spain.

Approximately 40 percent of the families in Brownsville live below the poverty line while the school is classed as Title I. This means the institution can receive financial assistance from local educational agencies to help ensure students receive the necessary resources.

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With many of the students having never owned passports or traveled far from home, Jordan thought it was important for them to go abroad. So, he is planning the school's first international trip in four years.

The teacher even started a GoFundMe page in December 2016 to raise $34,000 to fund the trip. On the "Brownsville to Barcelona" page, he explains why the trip is so important.

"I spent almost a year in that country after college, and in my career as a teacher, I've always wanted to give away a sense of what it is like being abroad in a more meaningful way than sharing my dusty old stories. Now is the time," he wrote.

As of April 11, the school has received $23,800 for its trip. Jordan explains that the goal actually isn't for the students to travel for free. Instead, he wants to reduce the cost so more students can go and pay what they can. "Together, we will make it possible for those who normally could not afford this journey to have the same exposure as others from more fortunate families," explained, "And to be able to do this for students growing up in and around Brownsville, Brooklyn is even greater. I chose a career in the classroom for a chance to give young people access to opportunity, and this project is a great extension of that."

Students going on the trip will fly out in July where they will embark on an eight day tour of Spain, starting in Barcelona and ending in Madrid. They're touring with the Educational Tours, a leading international education company, and Jordan hopes the trip will help the students learn about history, geography, and different cultures.

Jordan wants to see the students all graduate with passports and life experiences. He also hopes they take away an invaluable lesson.

"The idea that I had that there's no place in the world where I don't belong, I had to go there to get that experience ... I wanna offer that. And it will be a pretty unforgettable kind of thing. I don't think anyone will be quite the same after this trip," he said.

(H/T: Huffington Post)

Cover image via Shutterstock

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