Students from Edna Brewer MS in Oakland performing excerpts from Oakland Tales, December 2015, Z Space, San Francisco
Jana Mauiri, Word For Word's classroom teaching partner at Edna Brewer, had this to say about her experience:
“Working with Word for Word to adapt a book about the history of their own city was a profound experience for my students. Although they read the book on their own, the experience of physically embodying scenes from Oakland's history, from Japanese internment to a beloved amusement park to the African-American Double Victory campaign of WWII, meant that they lived this history in a unique way. They had fun and they understood the experiences so much more deeply because of the wonderful leadership of their W4W teacher and the special W4W style. During an audience chat after the performance, the students expressed that they ‘never knew Oakland had so much history.’ They felt proud of a city and a people that had been through so much, and felt honored to play those people and share the experiences with an audience.”
— Jill MacLean, Program Coordinator, Word for Word Youth Arts Program
"A book for this generation of Oakland youth."
—Oakland Councilwoman Lynette McElhaney