North Star Fine Coffees Partners with The Freedom Writers Foundation
2010-09-14 · By Editor
The Freedom Writers Foundation, a nonprofit organization, has partnered with North Star Fine Coffees, a luxury coffee company based in Seattle, to release “Room 203,” a blend formulated especially for supporters of the Freedom Writers, in an effort to raise funds to support the Foundation’s mission to provide educators with the tools to empower at-risk students to reach their full potential. The Foundation was established by Erin Gruwell and the Freedom Writers during their experience at Wilson High School in Long Beach, California.
As an idealistic first-year English teacher at Woodrow Wilson High School, Erin Gruwell confronted a room of students deemed “unteachable.” Challenged by the students of classroom 203, Ms. Gruwell used books written by teenagers, such as Anne Frank’s diary, to reach her students and encourage them to write about their own lives. Following Frank’s example, her students began chronicling their stories in journals and dubbed themselves the “Freedom Writers” in homage to the Civil Rights activists, the Freedom Riders. Four years later, her students defied the odds, shattered stereotypes, and graduated from high school. A year later, Doubleday Books, published their journals in The Freedom Writers Diary. In 2007, Paramount Pictures released “Freedom Writers,” starring Oscar-winning actress Hilary Swank as Erin Gruwell.
Ms. Gruwell and her students set up the Freedom Writers Foundation in an effort to recreate the success of room 203 in classrooms across the country. “I drank lots of coffee in room 203, so to have a coffee named after our magical classroom is such an honor!” Said Erin Gruwell, Founder and Executive Director of the Freedom Writers Foundation, “we’re thrilled about the partnership!”
Bryan-David Scott, North Star’s founder, was so moved by the Freedom Writers film that he contacted the Foundation to share his experience after watching and connecting to the Freedom Writers’ story. After a few conversations, it became apparent that North Star Fine Coffees and the Freedom Writers Foundation could work together to make a good blend of coffee available to overworked teachers and raise funds to provide educators with support and innovative tools to make connections with students in classrooms across America.
After months of hard work, Bryan-David’s team created two blends, a medium and a special dark roast. Coffee expert and connoisseur Steven Clark tasted the coffees and described them as “well balanced and aromatic, with tones of cocoa,” he went on to say that the coffee, brewed with a French press, was “full bodied, with tones that rested on the back of the tongue, the same place where wine carries most of its flavor.”