News Feature

Originally published in Island Ad-Vantages, November 21, 2012 and The Weekly Packet, November 21, 2012
Amy MacDonald brings “Writing About Diversity” to area teachers

The Deer Isle-Stonington Kennedy Center Partners in Education team comprising CSD 13 and Opera House Arts is bringing Kennedy Center roster teaching artist and Maine resident Amy MacDonald to Hancock County December 10-14. MacDonald will be teaching a new workshop for teachers, “Writing About Diversity,” on Monday, December 10, from 3 to 6 p.m. She will spend the rest of the week in demonstration teaching and classroom coaching with teachers. The workshop is aligned with the focus of many of today’s teachers to improve student literacy across the board, as well as the Island’s K-8 school theme, “Do the Right Thing.” Participating teachers are able to obtain CEU’s for this workshop.

“Writing About Diversity” takes the difficult and abstract topics of diversity and tolerance and helps teachers find ways to get students to think about, talk about, and express themselves on them. The workshop combines techniques used in many media, from poetry to advertising, to help them create a few short, powerful quotes on the subject. These quotes can be combined with other efforts (using artwork, for example) to celebrate diversity and prevent bullying in a school or district.

MacDonald is the author of a dozen children’s books, which won awards in three countries, were published in 22 languages, and made the New York Times list of the top ten children’s books for the year. A writer all her life, she has worked as a journalist and editor for many major newspapers and magazines in this country and in Great Britain and France, from the Times of London to The New Yorker. She has taught writing to all ages, from kindergarten through elementary, middle, and high school, at the university level, and to post-graduate students and adults. She has also taught expository and creative writing at Harvard University, the University of Maine, and at the Stonecoast Writers conference. She has been a Teaching Artist with the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts since 1998.

The Deer Isle-Stonington schools and Opera House Arts were named one of 14 new Kennedy Center partnership teams in 2007. The Kennedy Center Partners in Education program was established in 1991 to assist arts and cultural organizations throughout the nation develop and/or expand educational partnerships with their local school systems.

To register for the workshop, email, or call Tiffany Dauk at the Deer Isle-Stonington Elementary School, 348-6301. The advance registration deadline is Friday, November 30.