Our Great Unfinished Symphony

“Our Great Unfinished Symphony: Documenting and Sharing Immigrant Experiences”

MERIT is much more than a professional development program for educators; It is a community who are inspired- and inspire and support one another. Right now we have the opportunity to show an outpouring of our love for a deserving, innovative project called “Our Great Unfinished Symphony.”

This project is the brainchild of Jonathan Almerido, #MERIT17, 4th grade teacher at L.U.C.H.A. Academy in East San José.

Jonathan Almerido was a finalist for CUE’s prestigious Leroy Finkel Fellowship. His heartfelt spoken word presentation which begins with the profound opening, “If not us, who will tell our stories?” will move you: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X4cm9IJ3c9k

Inspired by his own quest to capture his grandmother’s spirit and memories before her passing, Jonathan wants his 4th graders to create family narratives. His students, their families and communities have stories worth capturing, remembering, sharing, and magnifying. By aiding students with technology to document their investigation, students’ messages can spread, inspire and serve as a source of strength.

Your contribution will fund voice recorders, carrying cases, mobile device condensers, microphones, cameras and cases, film, podcasting equipment, and more. This project will be a source of hope for Jonathan and inspiration for his current and future students.

As Jonathan stated in his presentation:

“These, my students, all children of color, all like me, one or two generations removed from immigration to the United States, care about this world, know that Black Lives Matter, that water is life, that hate has no home here, that this is not normal. And, now, it’s time for them to know the stories that like my grandma’s echo quietly in their own.”

The goal is to raise the money to fund this project in full and to surprise Jonathan with an oversized check at MERIT graduation on Saturday, March 24th, 2018.

Every contribution in any amount is greatly appreciated.



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  • Noel Ekstrom 
    • $10 
    • 37 mos
  • Anonymous 
    • $20 
    • 37 mos
  • Alicia V 
    • $300 
    • 37 mos
  • Kristi Van 
    • $20 
    • 37 mos
  • Nicola Kennedy 
    • $50 
    • 37 mos
See all


Mia Gittlen 
Oakland, CA
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