When You Rise We Shine

December 3, 2023
David Sunnyside

In 1923, 11-year-old Henry Shine took an examination that determined his future in education. Those who performed well continued into central school; those who didn't left to start working. Shine scored well, and his family moved to London's East End.

Shine discovered a love for learning in this neighborhood, a passion that has never left him. At age 65, he continues to teach. He finds joy in furthering knowledge, whether it's teaching Horn students or helping graduate students in the lab. And he has been doing it for the past 65 years.

At East End, where a majority of kids speak more than one language and many live in poverty, building community is vital. A key part of the school's improvement philosophy is leveraging community partnerships to offer Rise and Shine classes that give kids hands-on experiences in their neighborhoods. Classes like "Take it Apart," where kids use screwdrivers and wrenches to disassemble old computers, typewriters, and DVD players, provide valuable insight into how devices work.

In addition to offering a wide variety of classes, teachers also innovate in how they develop options for the program. One teacher, for example, saw a need for math enrichment and created a weekly problem-solving group. Other options include a full-court floor hockey class, ideal for students who need physical exertion before starting the day, and a glee group that gives kids an opportunity to sing before focusing on academic learning. School leaders report that students' enthusiasm for their Rise and Shine activities transfers to their academic lessons.

David Sunnyside
Co-founder of Urban Splatter • Digital Marketer • Engineer • Meditator
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