Thursday, June 19, 2008

Not So Sure

I was alerted to the following story by the ever fabulous Liz. According to the AP report:

NEW YORK - They may not know how famous she is, but the students at a Staten Island elementary school for autistic children sure like the way Jennifer Lopez moves.The Bronx-born singer and actress visited P.S. 37
Tuesday to perform her song "Let's Get Loud" for a group of eight
10-and-11-year-olds at their graduation ceremony. Teacher Kathy Amati says the children "really like her singing and dancing."Amati and a paraprofessional had shown the video for "Let's Get Loud" to the students. They loved it so much they wanted to watch it every day and learned the lyrics and dance moves from the video.With their teacher's encouragement, the boys wrote Lopez, hoping for pictures or an autograph. Instead, Lopez asked to come to their graduation.

**As I have previously reported/fumed/chastised, Jennifer Lopez graduated from an all-girls Catholic high school in the Bronx and, despite trumpeting herself as "Jenny from the Block", has never so much as sent a note (let alone a scholarship fund or even a measly donation through the annual fund drive), to the school. The school also has a very large population of Puerto Rican-American girls who not only idolize her, but also identify with her background and garner inspiration from her rise. The littlest thing could do so much.

But nothing. Which is why the above move has me surprised. Ever the cynic, I smell a PR move. More than that, however, is one really unsettling fact revealed in the article:

Two teachers of autistic children felt that daily viewings of "Let's Get Loud" made for effective instruction. I was an English teacher, not a teacher of special education, but does this seem odd to anyone else?

I'm all for music in the classroom (I actually played REM and Bob Dylan for two very specific lesson plans each year), but J. Lo? Really?


1 comment:

Abbie, Paul, Drew and Charlotte's Web said...

Use what works, maybe it's the repetitive beat, the monotonous voice or her dancing that "awakens" these children...maybe they should be introduced to the "Talking Heads"?