by Kate Jayroe, WITS PSU MFA Intern
At our WITS student reading on Thursday May 11, 2017, students from Franklin High School read their work at the Bipartisan Café. The students filed into the café all at once, with proud parents, grandparents, and friends in tow. Students of teachers Anne Meadows, Kim Wagner, and Dana Vinger were represented. There was an excited and nervous energy in the air as the reading began. After the room settled and everyone had gotten refreshments, snacks, and pie, the reading was set to start. While there was a scheduled line-up of students, some readers volunteered just moments before the reading, and were gladly included in the event!
The creative work represented covered a range of emotion, narrative, and style. From a fictional tale of swashbuckling, to incredibly poignant and vivid personal essay and poetry, there was a true diversity of voice and energy represented. In addition to hearing from Franklin students, WITS writers read alongside the students they’ve been working and visiting with at the school. Alex Behr read moving work about motherhood and identity. In addition, Leslee Chan read a vivid, concentrated piece about loss, and David Ciminello read with humor and style to the cheers and applause of the student readers. Afterward, students were eager to mingle with and praise their fellow students, and WITS writers chatted with students and offered sincere insight and cheerful support.
We would like to thank everyone in attendance at the reading as well as all of the teachers, students, family, and friends for their incredible support. Special thanks to Franklin librarian Sandra Childs for her help coordinating this reading, and for all her work with the Youth Programs of Literary Arts during the school year.