Oakland's Firefighting Peacemaker
As a child, Ray Gatchalian was taught to help others. “We’re here to inspire one another, to bring out the best in each other,” his father told him. When Ray’s Oakland, California neighborhood was about to go up in flames in the largest urban wildfire in U.S.history, Ray organized a dozen curious onlookers into a makeshift fire brigade that saved many homes and inspired one of the volunteers to become a fireman. “Fighting the fire with Ray changed my life,” he says.

ELA Learning Standards:

SL.9-10.1.c
Propel conversations by posing and responding to questions that relate the current discussion to broader themes or larger ideas; actively incorporate others into the discussion; and clarify, verify, or challenge ideas and conclusions.

W.9-10.10
Write routinely over extended time frames (time for research, reflection, and revision) and shorter time frames (a single sitting or a day or two) for a range of tasks, purpose, and audiences.

W.9-10.7
Conduct short as well as more sustained research projects to answer a question (including a self-generated question) or solve a problem; narrow or broaden the inquiry when appropriate; synthesize multiple sources on the subject, demonstrating understanding of the subject under investigation.

WHST.9–10.7
Conduct short as well as more sustained research projects to answer a question (including a self-generated question) or solve a problem; narrow or broaden the inquiry when appropriate; synthesize multiple sources on the subject, demonstrating understanding of the subject under investigation.

SL.9-10.1
Initiate and participate effectively in a range of collaborative discussions (one-on-one, in groups, and teacher-led) with diverse partners on grades 9–10 topics, texts, and issues, building on others’ ideas and expressing their own clearly and persuasively.

W.9-10.7
Conduct short as well as more sustained research projects to answer a question (including a self-generated question) or solve a problem; narrow or broaden the inquiry when appropriate; synthesize multiple sources on the subject, demonstrating understanding of the topic under investigation.

W.PK-12.10
Write routinely over extended time frames (time for research, reflection, and revision) and shorter time frames (a single sitting or a day or two) for a range of tasks, purposes, and audiences.

W.PK-12.7
Conduct short as well as more sustained research projects based on focused questions, demonstrating understanding of the subject under investigation.

Skills: critical thinking, civic duty, teamwork, cooperation, emergency preparedness