November 23, 2008

Poughkeepsie Journal: Teacher excited for RFK curriculum debut

Source: NYSUT News Wire

The Poughkeepsie Journal reports at

November 23, 2008

Teacher excited for RFK curriculum debut

Barbara Livingston Nackman - The Journal News

debbie scherle marinielloCARMEL - Social studies teacher Debbie Scherle-Mariniello is eager to teach about Robert F. Kennedy and his focus on social justice and human rights.

She and 13 other colleagues at a weeklong session last summer wrote lesson plans for this new subject unit to debut statewide this spring.

With the renaming Wednesday of the Triborough Bridge for Kennedy, his daughter Kerry Kennedy thought it was a particularly good time to promote school programs about her father.

"This education packet is not only a history of Robert Kennedy, but a tool kit of action to learn about the issues he cared so much about - racial, social and economic justice," said Kennedy, the seventh of RFK's 11 children. A Bedford resident, she is the author of "Being Catholic Now" and founder of the Robert F. Kennedy Center for Justice and Human Rights.

Scherle-Mariniello, 36, has taught in Carmel for 10 years and teaches sixth grade at George Fischer Middle School. She has a personal reason to make sure her students understand the topic.

Raised in Yonkers, she attended elementary school in what was then a segregated educational system. As a teenager, she went to a magnet school, Mark Twain Middle School, as a part of a court-ordered desegregation plan. In 1986, the Yonkers school district changed its policy to draw children citywide into special programs to bridge racially divided neighborhoods.

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