Writing Leaders (L-R): Christian Pimentel, Gaby Anderson, Katerina Guerrero, and Francine Tshimbalanga

Directors’ Note 

Dear Families and Friends of Rising Loaves, 

Over the past three weeks (July 10 - 28, 2023) our students explored the theme of “Leaving a Legacy” and experienced the importance of preserving our great city’s history in the Lawrence History Center archives. The writing in the 2023 Rising Loaves Anthology, a treasure of thoughts and ideas, represents only a small sample of all the writing and art our students created together this summer. Students filled their personal notebooks with poetry, short stories, drawings, and ideas that they will take with them forever. 

“Leaving Our Legacy” was a thought-provoking theme as we encouraged our students to think about their own legacy. We challenged them to think about how they could make a difference for future generations through their actions and words. Guest artists and writers such as Harlym 125, T-Melon, Nathan Baez, Nurylis Cintron, jayvie song, and Edwin Santana inspired our students to value and express their thoughts; during activity time, volunteer and teacher Sheila Barry taught some students to crochet while others put their passion towards playing volleyball. All students toured the Lawrence History Center and learned about the early planning of Lawrence by the Essex Company and viewed hidden vaults and archival documents with Kathy Flynn and Amita Kiley. Al Brandano of The Voice Library spoke to us about the importance of storytelling and recording the voices of our loved ones. 

We visited the new exhibit, Somos Latinos: Our Journey to Lawrence and Beyond, at the Lawrence Heritage State Park with its community content team director Sara Morin. In week two, UMass Lowell History Professor Robert Forrant taught us about the tragedy of the fall of Pemberton Mill in 1860 through the eyes of “The Ghost of Pemberton.” Students then walked over to the site of the collapse and discussed who gets remembered and why? 

We took a field trip to the Addison Gallery of American Art at Phillips Academy to view the current exhibition of the work of Alison Elizabeth Taylor, The Sum of It. Inspired by the art they had seen, students created art using the technique of marquetry with Christine Jee, the Addison’s Manager of School & Community Collaborations, the following day. 

In week three, we held an Amazing Race! Students divided into teams and solved crosswords, followed maps, located historic buildings in downtown Lawrence, ate tostones at El Taller, and returned to home base to solve another puzzle that earned them a special treat -- ice cream! 

Special thanks to our brilliant youth writing leaders -- Gabrielle Anderson, Katerina Guerrero, Christian Pimentel, and Francine Tshimbalanga – who led writing prompts and small group activities with our students with great talent and enthusiasm. 

The final reading and the exhibition of student work on the last day was a day of celebration. There were fond farewells and promises to keep in touch. Our students were sad that the three weeks had flown by so quickly. 

Until next year, 

Lee Krishnan Mary Guerrero Susan Grabski Click to view: