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Our summer 2019 Lawrence Student Writers Workshop, The Rising Loaves, represents the fifth year of our collaboration with Andover Bread Loaf for this free place-based learning opportunity, anchored in history, for Lawrence middle school students. Every day for three weeks in July our historic courtyard came to life as we welcomed forty Lawrence students in grades 5—7 and youth writing leaders into the Essex Company complex.

Our theme this year was “Our Stories.” Students wrote personal stories and learned about the stories of people who have come before us such as Eartha Dengler who founded the Lawrence History Center. Over the three weeks our writers and leaders shared their stories through poetry, music, drama, art, games, and historical research. The Anthology they created gives the reader a glimpse of the incredible work our writers have done.

There were many people who helped us with our work. Kathy Flynn and Amita Kiley introduced us to the historical archives and guest poets, Harlym 125, Quess, Anthony Morales, and Eliot Sykes inspired us. Educators, Lou Bernieri, Richard Gorham and Julia Perlowski ran writing and drama workshops. Our writers had the opportunity to visit the Addison Gallery, the Essex Art Center, Elevated Thought, and the Farmer’s Market. Music Educator, Alan Nuñez, helped us compose our Theme Song.

On the final day of the program students hosted an Open House and Celebration for their families and the public at which students and writing leaders read their poetry, displayed murals and exhibits, and led tours of the LHC buildings.

Our thanks to our program directors Mary Guerrero, Keyla Rodriguez, and Lee Krishnan and writing leaders Brianna Anderson, Sheila Barry, Angell Flores, Katarina Guerrero, Jennifer Escalante, Jackie Shierembergg, and Mekhi Mendoza for sharing their talents with our students!

"Lawrence Student Writing Workshop: The Rising Loaves” is hosted by the Lawrence History Center, developed in collaboration with Andover Bread Loaf, and funded in part by the Catherine McCarthy Trust, the Essex County Community Foundation Greater Lawrence Summer Fund, W. Dean and Sy Eastman, the Pringle Foundation, the Stearns and Russell Trusts, Rogers Family Foundation, Andover Bread Loaf, and the Lawrence Public School lunch program.