Acclaimed artist Judy Gelles interviewed and photographed over 300 fourth graders from around the world.

St. Lucia: Public School

Grade Teacher

St. Lucia: Public School

I live with my mother, brother and cousin. My brother and i have different fathers. I wish for a 90 plus average on the test. Last year i got 89.22. I worry about getting a good job. I want to be a fourth grade teacher.

She asked each student three questions:

Who do you live with?
What do you wish for?
What do you worry about?

Italy: Public School

Or Worries

Italy: Public School

My father is a gardener and sells flowers. My mother helps my father. I play goalie on our soccer team. I have no wishes or worries.

Their varied stories touch on the human condition and urgent social issues.

USA, Washington: Native American Public School

Pit Bull

USA, Washington: Native American Public School

Dad packs ice and mom is a cashier. Uncle and auntie work at the casino. I worry about robbers breaking into our house again. They took the tv controls and movies, and messed up all of the rooms. I wish for a pit bull.

Our goal is to create a digital, interactive curriculum for educators around the world

India: Private School

A Computer

India: Private School

I am a muslim. I pray five times a day. I live with my father and mother and three brothers. My father supplies bananas to shops. He leaves for work at 3am and comes home at 9pm. I see my father on Sundays. I want to be an engineer. I wish I had a computer.

Through structured learning experiences students will gain knowledge and empathy for children whose lives are different from their own.

England: Preparatory School

Granddad Dying

England: Preparatory School

I live with my mum, dad, two sisters and brother. Our nanny picks us up from school and cooks us dinner. My dad is a film lawyer in London and comes home on weekends. I want to attend Cambridge or oxford. I wish for a hot tub in our garden and a fishing boat. I worry about my granddad dying.

By supporting this project you will help create:

  1. an interactive resource for teachers
  2. lesson plans focusing on global understanding and tolerance
  3. an expansion of the project—
    visiting more fourth graders in schools around the world
South Africa: Public School

Be Murdered

South Africa: Public School

I speak Zulu and english. My father is a policeman and carries a gun. Our house has a wall around it with electrical wire. My wish is that everybody stop fighting with each other: at home, at school, and in the world. I am scared that one day i will be murdered.

 

 

View Judy Gelles’s TEDx Talk on the Fourth Grade Project

China: School for Migrant Workers’ Children

Medical Treatment

China: School for Migrant Workers’ Children

I live with my mother and father. My older sister lives with my aunt in my hometown. I wish my whole family could be together. I worry about doing something wrong and upsetting my parents. I worry about hurting someone and my parents will have to pay for medical treatment.

The following people have agreed to serve on the advisory board for The Fourth Grade Project:

  • Ernie Almonte Partner RSM US LLP, Boston, MA.
  • Jacqueline Cassidy, Art Educator, Lower Merion School District, Philadelphia, PA
  • Doritt Carroll, Intellectual Property Attorney / Poet
  • Danna Gelles, Adjunct Instructor,
    School of Education, American University Washington, DC.
  • Jeff Gelles, Journalist and Technology
    Entrepreneur, Philadelphia, PA.
  • Julie Hennessy, Clinical Professor of
    Marketing, Kellogg School of Management, Northwestern University.
  • W.M. Hunt, collector and consultant; writer
    (“The Unseen Eye”); contributor, L’Oeil
    de la Photographie; adjunct professor SVA;
    founding partner Hasted Hunt Gallery.
  • Dr. Barbara “Bobbi” Kurshan, Director Of Academic Innovation at the Graduate School of Education, University of Pennsylvania.
  • Suzanne Lacy, Professor of Art at USC Roski School of Art and Design
  • Susan Levering PhD, Former educator in private industry, higher education and public schools
  • Claire Lomax, Esq., General Counsel, The Lomax Companies, LP, CEO, Lomax Family Foundation. Philadelphia, PA.
  • Desiree Manual, Past Principal and founder
    of Dolores Huerta Elementary School,
    Los Angeles, CA.
  • Karen O’Neill, Head of Lower School, Norwood School, Bethesda, MD, Co-Chair of the Graduate School Dean’s Advisory Council at Bank Street College of Education.
  • Christine Pfister, Director of Pentimenti
    Gallery, Philadelphia. Honorary Consul of Switzerland in Pennsylvania
  • John W. Pickard, Judge Trial Referee for the
    State of CT
  • Patty Pickard, Former elementary school
    teacher, reading consultant, professor,
    Saint Joseph College, CT.
  • Penny Pincus, Former Middle and Jr. High
    School Teacher
  • Dr. Martin Rosenberg, Former professor of
    Art History at Rutgers, The State University
    of New Jersey.
  • Katherina Rosqueta, Founding Executive
    Director at the Center for High Impact Philanthropy, University of Pennsylvania