Natanael’s Story

Poetry Opens a Hopeful Path: Natanael’s Story

While many students his age in the small town of Francisco Morato quit school, unable to adequately read or write, 10-year-old Natanael da Silva Santos chose to write poetry.

Natanael’s teacher, Luciana Alves dos Reis Silva, is a participant in INMED Brasil’s Ready to Teach, Ready to Learn program. The Brazilian Ministry of Education at the Portuguese Language Olympics  awarded  Natanael and Luciana were for Natanael’s bronze medal-winning poem, “Tracing the Path of Memories.”

“Francisco Morato is a very poor town,” the master teacher explained. “We have only one library. That’s why I felt very happy to see that one of our students got such an important prize in a serious contest. It’s proof that our work added something.”

“As I grow, I trace the path of memories of this beloved town that holds many stories, traditions, culture and life.”

 
Coming from a town generally known for being overlooked or lost on the map, Natanael’s trip to São Paulo for the award ceremony was the first time he ventured outside of Francisco Morato. He comes from humble beginnings as the son of a painter and a cafeteria worker, but through poetry, he shares his affection for his growing but little-known hometown and how his personal growth is forever connected to the community and its people.

“As I grow,” Natanael said, “I trace the path of memories of this beloved town that holds many stories, traditions, culture and life.”

The vice-principal of Natanael’s school said that the school is proud of the student-teacher accomplishment. “We were very happy, fulfilled,” she said. “It is very good to see our work bearing fruits.”

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