Wednesday, July 20, 2016

The #OptOut Bus Comes to Detroit

Is there someone you admire that you don’t know in real life?

Maybe there is someone you’ve been following on social media because you find they can articulate your position on important issues of the day better than you are able. Maybe you are following someone because you admire the charitable work they do. Or maybe you follow them because you are secretly jealous of the way they can just drop everything and set out to live their convictions. Maybe, just maybe, there is someone who fits all these categories.

Enter Susan DeFresne, activist extraordinaire. Susan comes from the Seattle, Washington area and has a large following on facebook, twitter and I imagine in real life too. Susan and her husband Shawn purchased a used school bus, named it the OptOut Bus and are traveling across the country to highlight the abuse of standardize testing in public schools. While they travel they stop in cities that have been ravaged by for-profit education reforms and give books away to school children.

Monday started like any other day during the summer. I woke up, settled down with a cup of coffee and began to peruse the internet. Within minutes I read a message that said Susan and her husband would be stopping in Detroit that morning and needed information on places they could take the bus and set up to give away books. Because I teach in SW Detroit I know personally of several very active parks where there would surely be groups of children. I reached out and made the suggestion and then met Susan and Shawn in person at Clark Park to witness the magic.

The experience was humbling to say the least. I am in awe of people like the DuFresnes who can drop everything and live out their convictions. We met with groups of children who were at the park for softball practice, attending a recreation day camp or just hanging out in the park. Each one received the precious gift of a book and Susan took the time to write a personal message in EVERY SINGLE BOOK given away.

While I was there I took the opportunity to make a short periscope video of the happenings. You can view it here and listen to Susan tell her own story. I promise you’ll be inspired as I was. 

Susan and Shawn DuFresne
Susan took time to write a message in every book. 
Shawn said he was just there for the "driving and lifting". lol

If you would like to learn more about Susan's cross country adventure follow her facebook page.
To learn more about the Opt Out Movement click here. 
If you would like to donate to Susan's GoFundMe account for the purchase of additional books, click here. 
To learn more about the Badass Teachers Association click here. 

1 comment:

  1. Thank you Susan and Shawn! You are so amazing ^o^ ^o^ Thank you for stopping in Detroit, my hometown, with your gifts! I was proud to donate to your cause. Also, thank you to Cathy Brackett for this great report! ^o^ ^o^