S: The Telling Room: Donald Grave Field Trip Fund
BC: THE TELLING ROOM The Telling Room is a nonprofit writing center in Portland, Maine, dedicated to the idea that children and young adults are natural storytellers. Focused on young writers ages 6-18, we seek to build confidence, strengthen literary skills, and provide real audiences for our students' stories. We believe that the power of creative expression can change our communities and prepare our youth for future success. WWW.TELLINGROOM.ORG
FC: The Telling Room Field Trips in memory of Donald H. Graves
1: "All of us need [writing] as a survival tool in a very complex world. The wonderful thing about writing is that it separates the meaningless and the trivial from what is really important." | Donald H. Graves
2: Dear Graves Family, We are so grateful for the support you have given to The Telling Room. We share Don's conviction that children want to write and that they can accomplish much if they are treated as writers, and it is an honor to continue our work in his name. Our Field Trip Program is one of the primary ways we treat children as writers, giving them the tools they need to create and publish their own original writing during half-day sessions at our Writing Center in the Old Port. While working with us, students are encouraged to write freely about topics of their choosing. We prompt them with themes and ideas, inspire them with fun, unexpected activities, and provide them with the space and time they need to write. And, their teachers get a fresh new look at innovative ways to energize writing in the classroom while working with us. Thanks to the support we received from the Donald H. Graves Field Trip Fund this year, 164 children attending impoverished Title I Schools in grades 3-12 came to The Telling Room for field trips in bookmaking, writing & photography, poetry, and other arts and literacy projects. < >
3: Once again, thank you for making our work with these children possible. Sincerely, The Telling Room Staff: Gibson Fay-LeBlanc, Molly McGrath, Heather Davis, Andrew Griswold, Patty Hagge, and Molly Haley
4: The Telling Room's Field Trip Program offers exciting literary excursions for local students and their teachers. Our field trips incorporate discussion, the arts, one-on-one mentoring, and movement to make writing appealing, accessible, and fun for students while building their literacy skills and self-confidence.
5: For Language Arts teachers, the field trips are professional development opportunities that offer insight into the unique pedagogy we've developed. Our programs are designed to transform the writing process and improve literacy outcomes in the classroom.
6: On the Portland Word Walk field trip, students pound the pavement, bricks, wharves, and cobblestones around the Old Port, their pockets crammed with curious, mischievous, and sometimes brilliant words and phrases on bright strips of paper. | As they tour Portland, they leave the papers behind them, figuring out which words belong in which new homes: a trash can bears the phrase "take it or leave it", and a park bench brandishes "get up and dance" like a new tattoo.
7: After their walk, students return to the Telling Room to write about their experiences - maybe imagining someone's reaction to seeing the city in a new way because of their word art - and develop a story or poem from this sense they've helped create. Telling Room writers and artists circulate, helping students find their voices. At the end of the day everyone is encouraged to share a favorite line or a whole piece of writing.
8: In Build-a-Book field trips, young writers spend a half-day imagining,writing, and publishing their very own storybooks. | Telling Room staff and professional writers and artists lead the class for a rousing couple of hours in the writing center. Trademark Telling Room hijinx and tomfoolery ensue, and every student is inspired to write and illustrate. The books come together as if by magic.
9: The entire class engages in a spirited brainstorm to develop a story. Writing exercises help each student mine their personal geographies for great characters and plots and to devise his or her own unique ending to the story. We believe that it's important for students to leave with an actual book they've authored, so we print and bind the books on-site.
10: Our Writing through the Senses field trips prompt students to write their world according to the sights, sounds, smells, textures, and tastes they encounter every day. Using sensory prompts - smelling and looking at the suddenly strange textures of spices, feeling mysterious objects in black bags, observing color and detail-rich photographs - we warm up our pens and allow our natural story telling instincts to take over. Students 'find the heat' in descriptive language and receive the studio space they need to focus or confer one-on-one with a member of our staff as they develop ideas into story and verse.
11: Writing through the Senses culminates in a work-in-progress and a group reading.
12: Donald Graves Field Trip Fund Anonymous Donor Nancy Brain and John Watson E. Allen and Joanne D. Brooks Arlene Clifford Dale and Priscilla Doucette John P. and Jean Bennett Driscoll Susan Dunker-Bendigo John A. and Patricia V. Dunn R.M. and C.C. Easton Phyllis A. Fenderson William D. and Elizabeth R. Field Anne O. Gilbert Myron D. and Gladys Hager Kent Hemingway Stephen Hill Judie Hiller
13: Robert and Virginia Infantino Devon Isherwood Laura Kittle and Jeremy Moser Jonas and Louis Klein James E. Knowles Ken Kunin and Beth Stickney Gayle Levinson Raymond Lewis David Littlefield Doris Luneau MacLean Charitable Foundation Nancy Nelson Jane Nisbet John B. Pepper Barbara C. Reed Deborah and Robert Rude | Katharine Davies Samway Beverly Stearns Lee Ann and David F. Wood
14: Donald H. Graves Fund Sponsored Field Trips 2010-2011 Reiche School, Portland Bookmaking Field Trip: 21 5th Graders Bookmaking Field Trip: 20 5th Graders Word Walk Field Trip: 22 3rd Graders King Middle School, Portland Writing and Photography Field Trip: 20 6th Graders Edward Little High School, Auburn Word Walk Field Trip: 15 12th Grade English Language Learners Memorial Middle School, South Portland Poetry Field Trip: 26 6th graders Westbrook Middle School, Westbrook Word Walk Field Trip: 15 Middle School English Language Learners Biddeford Middle School, Biddeford Writing and Photography Field Trip: 24 8th Graders
20: I Play and Eat Poems by Telling Room Student: Ian Cates Poems taste like paper They taste like ink Poems don't make a sandwich They don't make a sub They don't make a pizza They just make me green Like salad It doesn't make sense So why eat them? I eat poems because they don't make sense I play poems just like a guitar Not drums Not thumbs Not bass Not a fish I use poems for airplanes I use them for crafts That's all I see in them Not just words But stuff to play around with And eat.
21: My Mind by Telling Room Student: Sharon Chikuta I want to tell you about my mind- the tricks it plays. I want to tell you how- if my mind will let me- my mind and my hands are not the best of friends. My mind likes to run away. For example in English: The battle begins- I have to write an essay. My mind has excellent ideas and my hand starts writing- But it's so slow and my mind is so impatient. And then it ditches me, just when those brilliant thoughts have reached the tip of my pen. My mind is as fast as my little brother when he runs away after he takes my things without my permission. My mind is as loud and busy as the African streets of Zambia. It is so fast and loud that sometimes I can't catch up. . . .