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462 Hattie Louise Gale

Posted By Eric Bencomo, Monday, April 21, 2014

Hattie Louise Gale Garden,  Location: Tropical Park   Address: 7900 SW 40th St, Miami                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        

The Floridian that I will be dedicating my garden to is Hattie Louise Gale. At 16 years old, Gale was the first school teacher in South Florida and Palm Beach. Her first class only had twelve students, whom she taught with the little resources made available to her. She stated that the books were gathered from the homes of local families and their only table was built from leftover construction lumber. Before her, kids were far apart from each other and were home schooled by their mothers or in some instances sent away for school. Not only were they not able to receive a proper education, but they did not have the advantage of being in a school setting socializing with other kids their own age and making new friends. I have chosen Tropical Park as the location of my garden. The reason being is that this park has been around since 1979 and has a long history in South Florida. It is also one of the biggest and most well known parks here in south Florida.  Here, hundreds and hundreds of adults and children from different schools in the area take field trips here and come to play. I feel that here is the best place for my dedication to be recognized because many children and their parents; even teachers, will have an opportunity to visualize and become aware of the first teacher in south Florida. I’m hoping that the people who see my dedication, will become aware of how something so little and scarce turned out to be a monumental phenomenon in the years to come. This will open the eyes of the viewers who are unaware of whom Hattie Gale was and will feel a sense of gratefulness because of her accomplishments.  And hopefully these kids along with their parents will realize what a blessing it is for them to have the opportunity to go to school every day.

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FIU College of Architecture + The Arts


Xavier Cortada
Artist-in-Residence
Florida International University
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Miami Beach, FL 33139

Xavier Cortada's participatory art practice is based at Florida International University.






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