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Akeelah and the Bee

By | April 2013
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I would like to choose the movie Akeelah and the Bee and Stand in Deliver. Akeelah and the Bee explores the issues of education in a low socioeconomic African American community.  In this movie, Akeelah comes from a working class family living in South Los Angeles. Akeelah is a bright girl, especially when it comes to words, but finds life at poor Crenshaw Middle School boring and unchallenging, so she doesn't try. But her natural aptitude for words spurs the school administrators, led by Principal Welch, to convince her to try out for the process of the Scripps National Spelling Bee. Akeelah, already feeling isolated from many in her school because of being perceived as a "brainiac", feels that participating in such will make her feel even more isolated. But her joy in learning new words at least gets her started in the process.  Dr. Joshua Larabee teaches Akeelah not only the rote memorization of typical spelling bee words, but how to use English in all its glorious facets. Akeelah progresses further and further into spelling bee life without telling her widowed mother Tanya, who sees the bees as impinging into time in her other schoolwork. This relates because Akeelah learns to spell new words by jumping with jump rope and just memorizes the words that way, her own form of literacy. For Stand in Deliver, it also talks about the struggles of the low educational rate but in East Los Angeles. Jaime Escalante is a new teacher at Garfield High School determined to change the system and challenge the students to a higher level of achievement. Leaving a steady job for a position as a math teacher in a school where rebellion runs high and teachers are more focused on discipline than academics. As the year progresses, he is able to win over the attention of the students by implementing innovative teaching techniques. He is able to transform even the most troublesome teens into dedicated students. While Escalante teaches basic arithmetic and elementary and intermediate...
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