Tonawanda News

Local News

January 24, 2013

Kenmore East students complete portrait of Pakistani teen shot by Taliban

(Continued)

Tonawanda News — “We’ve had such a great dialogue with the school’s population,” SaGurney said. “My classes figured out that they could communicate ideas with art.”

SaGurney’s classes put up posters and told Malala’s stories over the announcements, but he said the easiest way of communication was through Facebook and Twitter.

, and he offered students extra credit if they linked to Malala’s story using social media.

“It was different, because as teachers, we are always telling kids to put their phones away,” SaGurney said. “But this time, I said, OK, I’ll give you extra credit if you spread the word...and it worked. It was the fastest way to do it.”

The nine by nine portrait, which took two weeks to complete, is displayed prominently on a school wall and is easily seen through stairway doors.

Next to the painting is a quote from Malala: “I don’t mind if I have to sit on the floor at school. All I want is education. And I am afraid of no one.”

Across from the painting are students’ letters to Malala, which SaGurney said he will send to her soon. SaGurney and his students are hoping they will hear back from her.

One letter reads: “I think that taking a bullet and the head and still surviving is a miracle...You are obviously doing something right if people are trying to kill you for speaking up.”

Contact reporter Jessica Bagley at 693-1000, ext. 4150

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