Burke’s Newsies, Stand Up!

The eighth grade musical is the culminating project of each student’s experience at Burke’s.
The project is specifically crafted to align with Burke’s mission statement by providing opportunities for students to further their education, encourage their growth, and leave them feeling empowered to take on the challenges that lie ahead. 

The students are responsible for working together to produce, act, sing, provide technical support, create sets and costumes, and supply anything that's needed to pull off the show. This year, the musical is Newsies, and of the many themes, one is the importance of standing up for causes you believe in, no matter the odds. Each eighth grader was asked to connect their efforts to someone who has stood up for a cause they believe in–namely, a young activist roughly their age.

Students researched their chosen activist and some created a poster-sized newspaper front page telling the story. You can see them hanging in the Gym. Some examples of activists selected by students include the following: 

  • Autumn Peltier, Chief Water Commissioner, Anishinabek Nation - water activist
  • Xiuhtezcatl Martinez - environmental activist
  • Thandiwe Abdullah, Black Lives Matter Youth Vanguard - civil rights activist
  • Greta Thunberg - climate activist
  • Anna Elizabeth Dickinson - feminist, abolitionist
  • Yara Shahidi - actress, activist, feminist
  • Samantha Reed Smith - peace activist
  • Naomi Wadler - anti-gun violence activist
  • Sonia Banker ’18 - arts justice activist
  • Naomi Osaka - tennis player, mental health activist
  • Ashton Mota - author, advocate for transgender & non-binary youth 

Burke's mission is to educate, encourage and empower girls. Our school combines academic excellence with an appreciation for childhood so that students thrive as learners, develop a strong sense of self, contribute to community, and fulfill their potential, now and throughout life.


An independent K–8 school for girls
7070 California Street, San Francisco, CA 94121
Phone: 415.751.0177 Fax: 415.666.0535
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