Tales of Resilience: Break the Silence Against Domestic Violence

Verified Non-Profit

Verified Non-Profit

The Description

Our goal is to have our final books containing the vignettes and art pieces on display and on sale at the Break the Silence Against Domestic Violence annual gala on February 7th. Because of the very tight timeline of this project, we need some funds to help speed up the publication process, as well as have funding to produce our work in color. We also need some material to create the art pieces that the students are creating. For publication, we will be working through createspace.com, and we hope that any profits of the project will go back to help women who have left abusive relationships get back on their feet through safe houses and other programs of the sort. We also would like to send 3 students to the annual gala, and the cost is $60 a head. We want to send students to represent our book and stand by it at the event.

Tales of Resilience

Inside The House on Mango Street

Driving Question:

How can people become empowered to leave abusive and unhealthy relationships?

What elements make up a healthy, loving relationship? What is love?

What situations allow for abusive and unhealthy relationships?

What happens psychologically/physically to people who are in unhealthy relationships?


Project Description:

Break the Silence Against Domestic Violence is a non profit organization that acts as the national voice of domestic violence. Their mission is to “Educate communities on the dangers of domestic violence, connect victims and survivors, and assist in the transformation of lives of victims of domestic violence, by providing a personal development retreat, educational programs, and an advocate hotline.”


Our students will interview survivors of domestic violence, write vignettes in the style of Sandra Cisneros’ The House on Mango Street, and create corresponding artistic representations of our survivors to capture their tales of resilience. The stories will be collected into a book that will be on sale at this year’s Break the Silence Against Domestic Violence Gala.


What will We Do?

*Read and analyze: http://www.cnn.com/2013/02/10/opinion/steiner-domestic-violence

*Read about, analyze and learn about Stockholm Syndrome: http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,1920301,00.html

*Read and analyze Sandra Cisneros’ The House on Mango Street

*Prepare questions and practice interviewing skills (make sure the questions being asked will help create a story that appeals to all 5 senses!)

*Interview survivors of domestic abuse focusing on understanding and exploring his or her story (each class will have a different focus, listed below) : What is your story? How can women survive and escape domestic abuse?

*Take interview material to write vignettes patterned after Sandra Cisneros’ The House on Mango Street


Class 1 Interview Focus:

SYMBOLS: Is there an object that helped you get through your hard time? What was it? Maybe a piece of clothing or a pin or a prayer, even that helped you through your obstacles?

Class 2 Interview Focus:

CHARACTER: One class will focus on a character (a person) in your life that helped you through your difficult time. Was it a mother? A brother? An author of a book who wrote something that resonated with you?  Who was it? How did they help you? What was the moment like when you realized that they were helping you? When did you open up your heart for the help?

Class 3 Interview Focus:

THEME: The third set of students will focus on a theme of your story. What is a lesson that you have learned, a piece of wisdom that you can impart on the world by sharing your story with us?


Each group will turn in a revised, edited, polished version of the following on January 16th. Work submitted AFTER the 16th will not be published in the book:

~A 1-2 page vignette in the style of The House on Mango Street based on their interview, including a title

~A transcript of the most interesting/potent moments of the interview

~A photograph or drawing that best captures the vignette


Guest Speakers:

Kristen Paruginog ~Founder/Executive Director of Break the Silence Against Domestic Violence

Survivors of Domestic Violence


Project Timeline:

January 6th- January 9th~

*Read The House on Mango Street by Sandra Cisneros

-Focus on symbols, characters, theme

*Develop interview questions for survivors of domestic violence

January 12th~

*Guest speaker Kristen Paruginog

*Interviews with survivors of domestic violence

January 13th-January 15th~

*Vignette writing/Revision Process

* 2-1-0 drafting/revision process

*You will have time both in Ms. Molly’s Class and Ms. Carol’s Class

January 16th~


*FINAL 2-1-0 painting due

**Vignettes not turned in by this date will NOT be published in the final book.

Saturday, February 7th ~

*Break the Silence Against Domestic Violence Gala Exhibition

**This is a formal, black-tie event and only a select number of students will be allowed to attend. Kristen, Ms. Molly, and Ms. Carol will take into consideration your work, your work ethic, and any additional piece of writing that you would like to submit for consideration.



With these funds I will...

Back Up Plan

I am co-teaching this project with Ms. Molly, a writing teacher. We both feel very passionate about this project, and will fund the project out of pocket with the hopes of getting the money back through sales, although this means the amount we are donating back to the non-profit will decrease. 

Fundraiser Updates (1)

Many Many Many Thanks!

February 23, 2015

Hello from Tales of Resilience!

This has been one ride of a project. Watching my students interact with such strong, powerful women who have survived so much has been an emotional journey for me. We could not have achieved what we have achieved without your support. Here are some photos of a few of my students and their final books, which can be purchased online here: http://www.amazon.com/Tales-Resilience-Breaking-Domestic-Violence/dp/1505993075



Thank you so much for all your support! You have made a worthwhile project possible, and you've certainly brought pride to a group of 78 9th graders and joy to a couple happy teachers, including me.

Thank you so much!



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About the Creator

My name is Carol Cabrera. I am a singer-songwriter, an actress, a director, a playwright, an avid reader, a lover of comic books, but at heart, I'm a teacher and I always will be. I am in my first year teaching at High Tech High North County, in my second year as a project based learning teacher, in my third year as a full time teacher, and in my fifth year as a classroom teacher. I am extremely interested in the creation aspect of education. I seek to blend the real world into the world of my classroom, to extend my walls so they don't end at the square footage marked Room 129. I seek to explore the vast terrain of our universe with my students, but at the same time, I'm curious about what happens when we ask students to isolate their thoughts, and see what they can create from the vast amount of wonder that exists in their own heads. I am most interested in creative writing, and in how that writing can be brought to life, so playwriting and theatre is a natural fit for my interests.

Investments (15)



9 years ago


Janean Tavares

9 years ago



9 years ago


Martha E Tavares

9 years ago



9 years ago


Diana Paruginog

9 years ago



9 years ago


Daniel Edelman

9 years ago


Guadalupe Moreno

9 years ago


Danielle A Dornbier

9 years ago


Margarita Aguilar

9 years ago


Christine Stringer

9 years ago


Elenita Cabrera

9 years ago


Corinne Hernandez

9 years ago



9 years ago