On Saturday, the Greater New Orleans Writing Project and the Neighborhood Story Project will launch their new book, When I Was Your Age, a collection of short memoir essays by the teachers of Andrew H. Wilson Charter School. The book, edited by University of New Orleans faculty Sarah DeBacher, Ari Zeiger, and Abram Himelstein, is an inspiring trip down memory lane that bridges the generation gap between teachers and students. Twelve educators share stories from their youth, proving that teachers “wear jeans…walk dogs…[and] have first names,” just like ordinary people.
When I Was Your Age will make its official debut at WriteFest, which runs from 8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. on Saturday April 18, at the University of New Orleans campus, 2000 Lakeshore Drive.
In addition to the book launch, WriteFest will feature breakout sessions and activities designed to improve writing pedagogy in urban classrooms. There will also be a keynote presentation by award-winning author Tony Diaz. Registration for WriteFest is at www.gnowp.oOn Tuesday, DeBacher and Himelstein will talk about Write Fest and the book When I Was Your Age on "The Reading Life," a public radio show on WWNO 89.9 FM, the University of New Orleans' owned- and -operated NPR-affiliate radio station.
The GNOWP undertakes a number of teacher-centered professional development projects
each year, with a proven track record of positively impacting teacher excellence and
student achievement, UNO faculty say. When I Was Your Age has, from start to finish, been a validation of how community building and communication
within the educational system helps to provide support to teachers, students, and
Above all, the book is an affirmation of how writing and literacy can empower communities, UNO faculty say. While the stories themselves serve as a reminder of the transformative power of education, the process of writing the book was also designed to help teachers better advocate for themselves and their students. Through the process of drafting and revising, and by working with professional editors, the teachers of Andrew H. Wilson honed valuable skills that they will now be able to pass on to their students.
When I Was Your Age is published by the University of New Orleans Center for the Book and the UNO Press.
University of New Orleans Center for the Book seeks work that contributes to the rich
tradition of New Orleans and the surrounding region, as well as work that contributes to the intellectual and aesthetic life of academic and general audiences everywhere.
About The Greater New Orleans Writing Project: GNOWP was founded in 1978 as a way to improve writing and writing pedagogy in the New Orleans region. Housed in the English Department at the University of New Orleans, GNOWP acts as a limb of the National Writing Project, which has been recognized by the Carnegie Foundation as “the best large-scale effort to improve composition instruction…in this country.”
About The Neighborhood Story Project: The NSP is a book-making project founded in 2004 that empowers communities to participate in the creation of collaborative ethnographies. Since 2004, the NSP has sold more than 35,000 books by New Orleanians, about New Orleans.