Friday, July 29, 2016

@KwameAlexander Unites, Incites, Inspires, Motivates, and Excites Teachers and Students @CWPFairfield

Our mission in year three of the redesign of CWP-Fairfield summer work has been based on the mission of how each individual writer can be who they are because of who we are together. This summer, teachers and students have united conversations around writing in a wide-variety of genres, and for many, Kwame Alexander's Booked has been a catalyst and unifier. Teachers have explored teaching his work, Hill Central leaders addressed the ways they used his clever prose to restructure whole-school professional development, and Ubuntu Academy has used his clever vocabulary and world-play to provide introductory vocabulary and word recognition from reading his text as new Americans.

To say everyone was honored to hear Kwame offer 25 minutes of his writing processes and achievements is an understatement. They knew they were under the influence of greatness and each left the Fairfield University library media center more encouraged to work on their own imaginations and to fall in love with the power of words. The teachers, too, were captured by the importance of finding great texts to get in the hands of all readers - books kids will want to read and thoroughly enjoy. Kwame writes books that change the lives of his readers in positive ways.

Today is the end of week five of CWP's summer work and I am truly impressed by the "bars" Kwame Alexander shared with us all. Each and every time I have the fortune of being in his presence I become a better promoter of what young people can do and believe more in the power of educators who work with America's young people.

Smart. Clever. Witty. Profound. And Man of The World. That is the Rooster, and this Frog thanks the Great Whatever that our paths crossed five years ago in Syracuse, New York. The rest of the chapters continue to be written. Cockle doodle doo and Ribbit Ribbit. It was a spectacular occasion for fantastic individuals we are working with this summer - the presence of greatness is always appreciated.

Now I must search for ways to repay him for his influence on my life.

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