All children have important stories to tell. To help them discover their voices, develop their craft and explore future careers in writing, the Arts Alliance of Northern New Hampshire and the Vermont College of Fine Arts (VCFA) Young Writers Network are partnering in an exciting new program this winter that brings published authors to North Country schools and communities.
Authors will visit schools during February and March, engaging students and teachers in discussions of their books and leading workshops that help students develop and share their own stories. Participating schools include Groveton Elementary and Groveton Middle schools, Pittsburg School, Stewartstown Community School, Stark Village School and Stratford Public School.
The project will culminate in a cross-community celebration on March 23, when students and teachers will come together to share their stories with peers, other VCFA authors and their communities.
“One of the first offerings the Arts Alliance developed almost 20 years ago was our Write Now! program, which included our conference for educators and a variety of school and community programs that encouraged people of all ages to write and talk about writing,” says Arts Alliance director Frumie Selchen. “It’s exciting to be able to bring this new program to the North Country to re-invigorate that effort.”
Visiting authors are N. Griffin, the author of The Whole Stupid Way We Are, for which she was named one of Publishers Weekly’s Flying Start Authors of 2013, as well as the first two books in the Smashie McPerter mystery series; Erin E. Moulton, the author of four middle grade and young adult novels, including Flutter, Tracing Stars, Chasing the Milky Way, and Keepers of the Labyrinth and Tamara Ellis Smith, whose debut middle grade novel, Another Kind of Hurricane, was selected as one of Bank Street’s Best Books of the Year..
Early February workshops for educators and community members include:
Using Books to Build Problem Solving Skills: An Educator Workshop with N. Griffin. Thursday, February 2, 3:30 p.m., Groveton Elementary School. Best suited for K-5 educators. Participants will learn how to connect books and their content to the Math Practices in the Common Core Standards.
Turning Empathy into Action: A Professional Development Workshop for educators, nonprofit workers and community leaders with Tamara Ellis Smith. Thursday, February 9, 4 p.m., Colebrook Public Library. For educators and nonprofit and social-service professionals.
Another Kind of Hurricane: A Reading & Discussion with Tamara Ellis Smith. Thursday, February 9, Colebrook Public Library. For adults (parents, grandparents, writers and readers).
These workshops and school programs are funded in part by a New England States Touring Grant, with support from the National Endowment for the arts and the six New England State Arts Agencies, including the New Hampshire State Council on the Arts. In-kind donors include Candlewick Press and Penguin Random House, who provided more than 250 books to participating schools.
The Arts Alliance of Northern New Hampshire is a non-profit organization that promotes, supports and sustains culture, heritage and the arts throughout the North Country, serving as a network for arts information and arts programming.
Founded by alumni of VCFA’s Writing for Children & Young Adults Program, the VCFA Young Writers Network connects the college’s passionate — and growing — alumni community to the children least likely to meet real authors.