Fourth graders take on the roles of the Cuffee family, Westport Townsfolk, and Captain Cuffee’s crew in the Paul Cuffee play, We’ll Build a School, written by Grammy Award winning musician, Bill Harley, and directed by Integrated Arts Teacher, Frances Candelario. The play tells the story of the life of Paul Cuffee, Whaler, Merchant, and Entrepreneur and his establishment of the first racially integrated school in Westport, Massachusetts.
We’ll Build a School is a comprehensive curriculum event integrating language arts, history, and civics as well as the performance experience itself and addresses several of the Common Core State Standards. The play is an account of an actual event in history, one that has had a long-range effect on education and our community. As a concluding lesson, students will consider and write about the lasting influence of Paul Cuffee and his accomplishments.