Each generation has a novel. For teenagers today, it might be The Hunger Games, for the generation before, Harry Potter. It’s the book that ushered students into reading when nothing else would. For those of us who grew up in the 70s or 80s, that book was The Outsiders by S.E. Hinton. Made into an iconic movie by Francis Ford Copolla who directed the VERY young Tom Cruise, Matt Dillon, Patrick Swayze, Emilio Estevez, Rob Lowe, Ralph Macchio, and C. Thomas Howell as Ponyboy, The Outsiders holds a consistent place on students’ required reading lists, including that of Gary Malone – 8th grade English teacher at Junior High School 189 in Flushing, New York.
Today we visit with Gary, who designed his Fund for Teachers fellowship to experience locations in Tulsa, OK, that Hinton and Copolla brought to life in The Outsiders. Along the way, he was interviewed by The New York Daily News and Tulsa World, attended the Grand Opening of The Outsiders House Museum, met author S.E. Hinton herself and established a collaborative writing initiative called “The Stay Gold Project” to inspire students' creation of their own realistic fiction pieces based on their communities.