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        The Boys of Baraka

        Devon, Montrey, Richard, and Romesh are just at that age — 12 and 13 years old — when boys start to become men. But in their hometown of Baltimore, one of the country’s most poverty-stricken cities for inner-city residents, African-American boys have a very high chance of being incarcerated or killed before they reach adulthood. The boys are offered an amazing opportunity in the form of the Baraka school, a project founded to break the cycle of violence through an innovative education program that literally removed young boys from low-performing public schools and unstable home environments. They travel with their classmates to rural Kenya in East Africa, where a teacher-student ratio of one to five, a strict disciplinary program and a comprehensive curriculum form the core of their new educational program. The Boys of Baraka follows along with their journey, and examines each boy’s transformation during this remarkable time.

        The Boys of Baraka: Baltimore and Africa (Clip 1 of 5)

        In the first clip associated with The Boys of Baraka lesson plan, we see a glimpse of inner-city Baltimore. Police sirens ring out, a man is arrested and kids mime gun shots as they play together. In Baltimore, 61% of African-American boys do not graduate from high school. Students talk about what Africa-American boys who grow up in Baltimore might be facing in their futures.

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        The Boys of Baraka: Arriving in Africa (Clip 2 of 5)

        In the second clip associated with The Boys of Baraka lesson plan, the boys leave Baltimore behind and arrive in Kenya, where they begin their time at the Baraka School. Students should watch the film and talk about the differences between the boys' lives in Baltimore and in Africa.

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        The Boys of Baraka: Disciplining Montrey (Clip 3 of 5)

        In the third clip associated with The Boys of Baraka lesson plan, Montrey, one of the boys who went from inner-city Baltimore to the Baraka School in Kenya, acts out at school. His teachers discipline him and work with him on managing his anger. Students should talk about how the boys feel about school and education.

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        The Boys of Baraka: Closing the School (Clip 4 of 5)

        In the fourth clip affiliated with The Boys of Baraka lesson plan, parents of the Baraka boys, who had spent a semester in Kenya, are told that the school is closing. Students should discuss whether the students' lives in Kenya were better than their lives in Baltimore.

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        The Boys of Baraka: Help Baltimore Be on the Map (Clip 5 of 5)

        In the fifth lesson clip affiliated with The Boys of Baraka lesson plan, Baraka boy Montrey says, "I think people think a kid from Baltimore is supposed to be nothing. That we ain't got no future. Because we from the ghetto. I'm gonna try to make a difference. Help Baltimore be on the map." Students should discuss how the Baltimore neighborhood that the boys grow up in is similar to or different from their own neighborhoods.

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