2007 Teacher of the Year

Saint Mary's Kalmanovitz School of Education and River of Words Celebrate our Teachers of the Year!

River of Words / Kalmanovitz School of Education 2007 Teacher of the Year  

Linda Cover; Watsonville, California

 

"I was born in White Plains, NY, but have lived most of my life in California. On the way, I worked in Manhattan sweatshops making feather hats and toys, and in toxic factories in Florida, making fiberglass boats. I picked strawberies & grapefruit before they put porta-potties in the fields. After coming to CA, I was a videographer at the State Dept. of Industrial Relations. I have owned and operated an antique store in San Francisco and a mountaintop produce stand in a redwood forest. I've also worked in many of our local natural food stores. I still sell regularly at flea markets, the ultimate people's recycling society. I've helped organize and produce community TV programming, organized neighborhood buying groups (or "food conspiracies"), and helped neighbors band together to fight political and environmental abuse. I traveled through several countries in Europe while living there for six months.

For the past nine years, I have been working with children, helping them to learn to draw, write, and laugh about our world. I am able to teach what I know because River of Words has opened the door for me. The ROW vehicle has been such a fine and shiny limo for my wasonville students. It has helped us see ourselves with more wholeness, helped us feel more connected, and has encouraged us to value the place we live.

ROW has given our students their very voices, and now they sing - loudly, sweetly, harmoniously, and sometimes angrily.  Songs echo in our libraries, government buildings, cafes, on local TV, and in hallways and walls throughout our community. Our students have become the "Lorax" of our town, speaking for the rivers, wetlands, forests, and mountains. Through their songs, our students are teaching the people to live in our community about the value of our watershed and about ideas that go past political boundaries."