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Six New Bedford Public Schools Students Honored by the Max Warburg Courage Curriculum


For the fourth consecutive year, New Bedford Public Schools sixth graders have participated in the Max Warburg Courage Curriculum reading – discussing and writing about courage. This year over 1,000 students participated in the curriculum, from Normandin Middle School, Roosevelt Middle School and Keith Middle School, writing stories of courage in their lives.

Six essays from brave New Bedford students were selected and published in the 2020 edition of The Courage of Children, Boston and Beyond. Max Warburg Courage Curriculum is proud to congratulate Vivian Verano, teacher Andrew Richards from Keith Middle School; Adelany Perez Rustand, teacher Valerie Parent from Keith Middle School; Makayla Horvitz, teacher Ashley Harwood from Roosevelt Middle School; Serenity Lopes, teacher Carolyn Westgate from Roosevelt Middle School; Janiyah Sanchez, teacher Colin Southgate from Normandin Middle School; and Navaiah Sanchez, teacher Debra Mendes from Normandin Middle School – for their insightful stories of courage and the incredible strength it took for them to share.

New Bedford Superintendent Thomas Anderson expressed his pride in the students, congratulating them in a video message as the traditional award ceremony was not possible this year. “Your thoughtfulness and your persistence in creating your essays now makes you published authors! But more than that, you have grown in the process – with the guidance of your excellent teachers you’ve strengthened your reading, writing and critical and analytical thinking skills – all essential to every successful author. As with all things like music, art and sports – your skills will get stronger with practice – you have no limits. So, keep writing; keep thinking about writing, keep using your voice – and always remember to thank those you love and who help you along the way.”

Their essays appear alongside personal stories of courage written by students from Boston, across the nation and throughout the world. The Max Warburg Courage Curriculum is grateful for the support of The Henry H. Crapo Foundation Fund of the Community Foundation of Southeastern Massachusetts in advancing their mission.

Pictured left to right: Vivian Verano, Adelany Rustand, Makalya Horvitz, Serenity Lopez, Nevaiah Sanchez and Janiyah Sanchez.


Founded by Stephanie and Jonathan Warburg, The Max Warburg Courage Curriculum is named for their son, Max Warburg, a courageous 11-year-old, who lost his battle with leukemia in 1991. In his short life, Max helped raise awareness about the importance of creating a donor registry.

The privately funded literacy program, “Courage in My Life” is a year-long language arts and character development program used not only in every sixth-grade class in the Boston Public Schools, but in local, parochial, charter, and private schools as well. The Curriculum is also taught in schools across the country and in 15 countries around the globe. To date, the Max Warburg Courage Curriculum has reached nearly a quarter-million students.

To learn more about The Max Warburg Courage Curriculum’s award-winning English Language Arts and character development programs, or to find out how to participate in the Courage in My Life Essay Project, please visit www.maxcourage.org.

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