Collaborating with Local Schools to Foster Literacy

Collaborating with Local Schools to Foster Literacy

“I love poetry. I love anything to do with art,” noted Reed Middle School student Deborah Pierre. She confessed she would love to write a book one day. “I already started one and now I think I’ll finish it,” added the eighth grader.

Organized by Dr. Bryan Ripley Crandall, director of the Connecticut Writing Project (CWP) Fairfield, the Writing our Lives conference brought well over 100 students from Bridgeport area schools to campus to focus on writing skills. The conference highlighted the importance of writing in and out of school in a wide variety of genres, from poetry to writing for college, to creative non-fiction and journalism. The conference was sponsored, in part, by Bank of America.

Judging by the buzz in the room, punctuated by laughter at key points, keynote speaker, author, and poet Kwame Alexander had the middle and high school students completely engaged as he recited snippets from his poems and stressed that saying “Yes!” to opportunities led to his career as a writer, publisher, and educator.

“The one word I can use to describe the conference was ‘amazing!’” said Dr. Crandall. Sixty-eight students registered for the conference; over 115 attended.