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Rookies Worksheets KeithEarlyDraft

Rookies Worksheets KeithEarlyDraft

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Published by Jermain Gibson
Early Draft of Keith's Radio Rookies Story
Early Draft of Keith's Radio Rookies Story

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Published by: Jermain Gibson on Jan 14, 2014
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


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Today starts the newest series from Radio Rookies - WNYC’s Youth Program that trains New York City teens how to report radio stories. Keith Harris is 17 years old and only recently overcame a problem thousands of New York teenagers struggle with: illiteracy. He was raised in Guyana, but his mom sent
him to the U.S for 9th grade. When Keith rst started at The High School for Global Citizenship in Brooklyn,
his teachers thought he was stubborn and resistant to class participation. And he was - because he didn’t want them to know he could not read and write.
A broken heart by Keith Harris. A broken heart is ll of tears and pain to surf survive without his
love his life ain’t nothing but dust, my life ain’t nothing but...all right start over.
OH MY GOD! I don’t like listening back to myself—I keep making mistakes.
One more time—A broken heart by Keith Harris.
2 years ago - I could not read or write. It’s easy for me to tell you now, but I spent most of my life hiding the truth.MOM: Hello?
This is my mom.
MOM: Keith, I would like you to make me proud.NARRATION:
When I was growing up in Guyana, I didn’t make my mom proud. School was my enemy, in-stead of going to class—I would play cricket, gamble with friends or go swimming. One time I almost drowned.
A man come home and told us a little boy actually drowned. So I didn’t really think it was Keith until when Keith show up. Keith eyes red, red, red. That was the little boy was in the river.
I was a bad boy. On Sundays, as soon as church was over, I would run straight home just be-
cause I didn’t want to have to read the Bible out loud in Sunday school. I never told anyone that I couldn’t read and write. I wanted it to be a secret. So we all pretended everything was ne. Sometimes my mom still does.
Well school in Guyana was brilliant. Very perfect.
What was my report card like?
MOM: Keith used to get like 75 and I think that was good.NARRATION:
Nah—she’s lying. I used to fail! By the time I was 14, I was getting into so much trouble that
my mom sent me to the U.S. for high school.
MOM: I had to beat him on his hands.NARRATION:
But—I was already really good at hiding my problems.
Yo what up?
(school bell)NARRATION:
My number one rule: never ever read out loud. When it was close to my turn, I would always ask to go to the bathroom.(classroom sounds)
When I tried to read, the pages looked like a forest with no single tree. Everything was just a blur. And my handwriting, oh my god! It was scrappy and nappy like barbed wire, I hated it!
Write one more paragraph...
All I wanted to do and all I did was play basketball. And believe it or not, it was basketball
Keith’s Transcript:
that got me to start paying attention in school.
When Keith rst came in I remember seeing him in the gym I saw a tall lanky kid.
Coach Jones wanted me to play on the basketball team, but he told me I needed a 75 aver-age. Guess what? He was lying.
You didn’t need a 75 average, you just needed to pass a certain amount of classes.
He wanted me to be a good student.
I wanted to try to push you.
I really, really, wanted to make the team—I wanted to be the next Dwayne Wade from the
Miami Heats like everyone said I could be. But to get a 75 average I needed help - I could not keep my secret
(knock on door)KEITH:
Hi Ms. Kelterborn.
Ms. Kelterborn was the rst person I told I couldn’t read.
I didn’t know what to do. I didn’t want you to be embarrassed. So I was like okay give
him a comic book he could tell the stories through pictures. But that still must have been frustrating for you, because you couldn’t read the words. You must have been just been like this woman is crazy. I just told this
woman I can’t read and she handed me a comic book.
Practice those!
In the 10th grade, Ms. Kelterborn got me into a class just for students who can’t read and
write. Ms. Bauer changed my life.
Um do you remember one of the rst books that you read in independent reading with me?
Yeah um The First Part Last.
Uhuh The First Part Last.
That’s my favorite book. It’s the rst book I ever nished reading.
I read it twice and in like probably in like two months.
When she asked me to read out loud, I did it, because no one would laugh at me.
You were quiet and you would mumble and I’d always say, sit up and speak clearly, and I’d stand all the way on the opposite side of the room and I’d say you need to speak up so we can hear you and now I never have to say that you always speak up ‘cause you want everyone to hear you.
When reading nally started to make sense, I was so proud of myself. I laughed so much my  jaw started to crack. And around that same time, Dwayne Wade and the Miami Heats won the NBA champi
T.V. CLIP: The Miami Heat, they’ve done it!NARRATION:
Everything was just great! He won and I won.
T.V. CLIP: Congratulations to Dwayne Wade!MS. HUGHES:
When you started here in 9th grade Ms. Kelterborn you had failed both English classes. And now you’re scoring 80s in English!
At the end of my junior year, my guidance counselor Ms. Hughes told me I’m on track to graduate, as long as I pass the state tests.
The fact that you haven’t given up but rather you’ve used your frustration as power im-presses me like you can’t imagine.
Yes! I can’t believe it myself. I learned to read so fast. But, just because I’m reading and writ
-ing now does not mean things are easy. There’s still a lot more work to do. And I’m doing it all by myself. My

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