Friday, May 26, 2017

The Semester Ended, The Summer Creeps Forward, and For Now: Celebration

Yesterday, through the vision of the Bridgeport Public Higher Education Alliance - a consortium of Fairfield University, University of Bridgeport, Housatonic Community College, and Sacred Heart University, Dean Robert Hannifin and others helped to pull of an award ceremony for 130 youth, teachers, staff, and families!

At first, I was overwhelmed by the 400 RSVPs when given emcee duties. I didn't know if it could be pulled off in an hour - that's a mountain of awards! I got creative with the presentation, however, used inspirational quotes, and managed to succeed with the recognition of the10 schools given our quadrant. The other 30 schools were divided to the other universities with a shared vision to accentuate the positive and bring good into the world. It was a tremendous success.

Another highlight from the day that just was came from  delivering 50 copies of Kwame Alexander's The Crossover to 7th and 8th graders at Columbus School, as part of a powerful turnaround vision to enhance reading, writing, and thinking skills. The smiles said it all, especially after the middle schoolers were enticed by a writing workshop showcasing the brilliant YA Lit author's prose. I knew they had to have their own copies to keep the magic alive at the school.

We are only five days away from Fairfield's graduation, but the Connecticut Writing Project is only beginning. We have four more weeks of K-12 support, before our summer of Young Adult Literacy Labs, including Ubuntu Academy and Project Citizen, begin.

At the award ceremony, an ELA teacher from Columbus came up to say, "Well, the kids already began reading the books you dropped off today. I told them I'd give them extra credit, but they seem to be willing to jump into Kwame Alexander's book without the need for any awards. They read a few pages and quickly were hooked."


That is why I knew The Crossover was destined for greatness. As a classroom teacher, I always wanted THIS book to hook kids and to discuss poetic verse with them --- it just wasn't written yet. Basketball was the bonus!

Feeling good about my Thursday. Now, Friday, I have to get to work!

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