Teacher's Trip from South Central L.A. to Paris Started with a Dream

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Vielka McFarlane to speak at United Nation's educational, scientific, and cultural conference on Millennium Development Goals Dream Project

On September 3 Vielka McFarlane, Founder and Director of the Celerity Educational Group in Los Angeles, Ca. will be speaking at UNESCO headquarters in Paris, France at The 61st Annual DPI/NGO Conference on Human Rights.

She will be one of two educators leading a workshop titled: Dreams in Action, the Millennium Development Goals Realized: How to Design Human Rights Issues into the Classroom Curriculum to Inspire Leadership, Creativity, and Social Justice.

Ms. McFarlane is a native of Panama who emigrated to the U.S. in 1982, and then became a teacher, principal, and administrator in the LAUSD (Los Angeles Unified School District). In 2005 McFarlane dreamed of offering a better educational choice to the children in South Central Los Angeles, so she mortgaged her own home to open Celerity Nascent Charter School on the corner of Jefferson and Crenshaw.

She implemented an innovative curriculum called the Dream Project at the school, and its remarkable success attracted the attention of the Illinois State Teacher of the Year, Joe Fatheree, in Effingham, Illinois. He assigned his high school students in media arts to produce a documentary of the Dream Project at Celerity Nascent. Word spread as far as Honduras where Ms. McFarlane and eight of her students traveled to visit with the President and First Lady to discuss implementing the Dream Project in their schools. Now her efforts have been recognized by the UN, and Ms. McFarlane has been invited to speak in Paris.

The Dream Project is a grade 6-12 program based on the United Nations Millennium Development Goals (UNMDGs); eight lofty goals that are meant to be reached by 2015. Those goals include 'Eradicate extreme hunger and poverty', 'Achieve universal primary education', and 'Reduce child mortality'. Along with the five other panelists, Ms. McFarlane will be discussing how, by including human rights and the Millennium Development Goals in classrooms, an atmosphere of leadership and social activism is created that inspires students to use their talent, passion, and imagination to make a positive difference in the world.
From South Central to Illinois, Honduras, France…Where will she go next?
Ms. McFarlane is available for interview.

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