Monday, March 20, 2006

Reading Dante for Fun?

That's the ticket for the Saturday morning Dante Club composed of inner-city high school kids who gather every week in San Francisco's Morning Due Cafe for their classical literature fix. Here's an excerpt from the San Francisco Chronicle story...

...Callen Taylor, 30, teaches social studies at Mission and said many of her students lack "cultural currency." They have no knowledge of Greek mythology or Renaissance artists or ancient Rome.

She was made especially aware of their gap in knowledge when they returned to Mission last fall after having participated in a variety of summer programs along with wealthier students from other schools. They told her they'd felt intimidated.

"They felt like why are all the kids smarter than us?" Taylor recalled. "Why does everybody seem to know Greek mythology? How do they know Jupiter is the same as Zeus? A lot of people would take that for granted."

Her solution? The Dante Club...

The rest of the piece can be read right here.