Over the past year, OPB profiled a class of first graders in a project called the Class of 2025. It’s an ongoing, 12 year exploration of public school and life through the eyes of young students. After finishing first grade, OPB sat down with students and asked: “What do you want to be when you grow up?”
All the students started out as kindergarteners at Earl Boyles Elementary. Some have moved to other places. Earl Boyles was the location, nearly two years ago, where Governor John Kitzhaber announced an ambitious goal: a 100 percent high school graduation rate for the state’s class of 2025.
Earl Boyles Elementary is like many schools across the nation. It’s adjusting to the new federal Common Core standards. Three-quarters of the students come from poverty. One-quarter speak languages other than English at home.
OPB’s education reporter Rob Manning closely followed the students through the ups-and-downs of first grade. Listen to his in-depth radio documentary:
In this multimedia special project, we meet children with unique stories to tell:
Kaylie's Story: Learning To Read From A Hospital Bed
Kaylie stands out from her classmates in a lot of ways, including her good classroom behavior. But she thinks a lot about the physical condition that keeps her outside the first grade reading semi-circle.
Munira's Story: First Grader, First Generation
Munira’s parents immigrated to the U.S. from Somalia and Kenya before she was born, to escape the violent civil war in Somalia. The family is Muslim. In some ways, she is glad that her background makes her stand out. She’s proud that she’s the only kid in her class who can speak some Somali.
Ethan's Story: When School Is Home, And Home Is School
Ethan started school at Earl Boyles Elementary last year. Melissa Seamon, his mother, liked the school and his teachers, but decided to home-school him, primarily for religious reasons.
Learn about all the students OPB is following for the Class of 2025. There you will find in-depth stories about the experience of first grade for students, teachers, parents and administrators.