111th & Roberts hits the road!

This summer we have been so excited to share 111th & Roberts: Where Our Stories Intersect with the world! Not only is our book being sold at 826 Chicago Writing and Tutoring center, it has also gone international as a part of London's Empathy Museum's "A Thousand and One Books Library" campaign. You can track our book here, along with the other titles donated to library, to see who is reading it and follow its journey around the world. 

In addition to sharing our book, Mr. Wendelin and I also had the opportunity to travel to San Francisco to share our students' hard work with other educators, students, community organizers and oral historians from all over the country at the Voice of Witness Amplifying Unheard Voices 2016 workshop. Not only did we get to share the amazing work and reflections of our VOW students along with the courageous stories from 111th & Roberts, we also got to connect with wonderfully inspiring people including our VOW partners and mentors, Cliff Mayotte and Claire Kiefer, and learn even more about the power and craft of oral history to bring back to next year's VOW students! Check out this great article from Voice of Witness interns Miriam Hwang-Carlos and Charlotte Edelstein reflecting on the workshop. After all the support and guidance we received from Cliff and Claire and the entire Voice of Witness staff, we were honored to take part in such an awesome workshop and finally thank them all in person! 

From the left, Mr. Wendelin, Claire Kiefer (Voice of Witness Education Program Associate), Mrs. Thyer, and Cliff Mayotte (Voice of Witness Education Program Director) pose for picture at the 826 Tenderloin Writing and Tutoring center after sharing Stagg VOW's work and gratitude to Voice of Witness for all their help in our journey. 

"We need to say yes to students more..."

VOW Red Carpet in Review

On May 11th we were fortunate enough to host an amazing red carpet book release event for 111th and Roberts: Where Our Stories Intersect. While we've already posted pictures and more details about the evening on our Events page, today we received an amazing video put together with the help of our district's Director of Communications, Carla Erdey. The video is a wonderful summation of our program's goals and an amazing tribute to the hard work and dedication of our students. We couldn't agree more with what Joy says in the video, "I feel like this could be the start of something big..." We hope it is too and can't wait to see where Stagg VOW takes us next! 

Look What We Made Together!

"111th & Roberts is a world-rocker. Filled with voices from the Amos Alonzo Stagg High School community, the book is alive. Some narrators speak in plainsong; others turn phrases poetically. Some eloquently speak English as a second language. Codes are switched. Voices whisper. Voices elegize. Declare. Regale. Rejoice. Each one rings true. Finely detailed, each chapter unfolds to explore big, essential questions."

-Audrey Petty, Editor of High Rise Stories

In the past two months we have worked harder than ever to bring together all the amazing interviews and artistic components to create our final product--a book that shares the stories of our school community. We realized very quickly that Amy Poehler was right, "writing is hard." Not only did it require a tremendous amount of meticulous editing and hard work, it also forced us to make some very hard decisions about content. Even with all the obstacles, it was more than worth it to see our book finally take shape. We also can't thank the extraordinary Audrey Petty enough for writing a beautiful foreword that truly captures our vision for the the book. We are so excited to share our book and our stories with you! Don't forget to order your copy here