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Renato de Castro is 15 years old and had not been to school for a year. The teenager changed his mind and went back to studying after watching Black Panther, which was released in Brazil earlier this year. He explained his decision to Extra newspaper: “Black Panther became king after his father died. He didn’t think he would be up to it, but because he had studied, he managed. Without schooling, I won’t be able to do anything.”
Renato is in seventh grade at Vila Operária Public School, which is in the Duque de Caxias community in Rio de Janeiro state. He dreams of being a firefighter. His desire to join the profession began when the shack where his family lived caught fire and everyone was rescued by firefighters.
Before going back to school, Renato earned money as a shoe shiner at Central do Brazil train station in the state capital. According to the NGO Todos Pela Educação, there are 2.4 million youth from the ages of 4 to 17 who do not go to school. Most of them are 15 years old. According to the organization, plenty of teenagers from poor families drop out of school to work or to take care of their own kids.
QUESTIONS – Level 2
1. According to the text, why did Renato go back to school?
a. Because his family encouraged him to.
b. Because of his dreams of being a shoe shiner.
c. Because he was inspired by Black Panther and realized he had to study to fulfill his dreams.
d. Because a friend advised him to.
2.Think about this: Why do kids and teenagers drop out of school? What would be the consequences for these young Brazilians and the country?