Our Thursday evening WITS reading for Madison High School students at Bipartisan Cafe began with the audience of nearly 50 people singing “Happy Birthday” to the first student reader. He was one of several writers who shared powerful personal stories. The personal pieces included accounts of bullying, getting lost while crossing borders, and learning English. There were also two plays,which dealt with relationship issues in humorous ways.
In addition to students, WITS writer Brian Kettler shared his experiences working with students and how much he learned from them. Kettler worked in a section of English Language Development taught by Jennifer Edelson and Beginning Theater taught by Ms. Zena. WITS writer Emilly Prado shared work from her bilingual zine, Con las dos manos/With both hands, in both English and Spanish. Prado’s residency took place in a section of Spanish 1 taught by Stephen Lambert and Lengua y Literatura taught by Elena Overvold. The audience was clearly moved by everyone’s work–from funny to heartbreaking–and gave several rounds of applause.
We want to thank all the friends, family, and community members who came and supported the brave readers, the WITS writers for helping students write, revise, and present their work, and the teachers for being such wonderful partners. Last but not least, thanks to Bipartisan Cafe for continuing to be a great host venue for our events!