And by the way, I HATE being called "teacher."
Jessica (thanks, Jessica!) suggested I talk to the Ella Baker Center for Human Rights to see if they know how I could get in touch with former students who are incarcerated I did, and the assistant to the exec utive director wrote back to me:
I am so moved by your passion and concern. I have previously worked with kids and know the void that opens up when life takes them on a path they neither wanted nor chose. It takes strong community members, moving forward just as you are to reverse this epidemic. Have faith! I have forwarded your request on to several members of our Books Not Bars campaign in hopes they will have the best idea on how to proceed. Thank you for reaching out to us.
I don't really consider myself a "strong community member" but I am concerned! Anyway, it would be wonderful to find out where they are.
This is a lovely picture that a student drew for me last year. I love it. Going kind of from the top right down, the words you probably can't read: "SuperApple" (on the superhero apple, obviously), "Happy Apple," a scared looking apple saying, "Don't hert me!" "SuperStar," "I (heart) apples," "Angree - some one bit my apple,"and "No apple for you!" All out of his own imagination!
I love this kid.