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Giving rise to self-expression; Phillips-supported writing workshop deepens students' connections

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AMANDA SABGA/Staff photo - Students and group leaders perform a dance at last week's community celebration to cap off this summer's Re-envisioning Lawrence writing program offered through Andover Rising Loaves, a new collaboration involving Phillips Academy of Andover, Lawrence History Center, Lawrence Public Schools and UMass Lowell.

Posted: Wednesday, July 22, 2015 7:11 am

By Terry Date tdate@eagletribune.com

LAWRENCE — The kids lined up in the Essex Street courtyard in Lawrence at noon last Friday, notebooks in hand, nervously waiting their turn.

Lorena German, a writing teacher from Andover Bread Loaf, a Phillips Academy outreach, told the 30 preteens to take a deep breath.

She took one herself, and let it out slowly, prompting the kids to do the same.

The reading would begin momentarily, she said. Thirty poems or stories from 30 students. Friends and family were in the audience, seated and standing in the sun and shade.

For three weeks the students, entering grades five through seven this fall, had spent their days studying their city and setting at the writing workshop host site, the Lawrence History Center.

They were part of the Re-envisioning Lawrence student writing program, called Rising Loaves, a new collaboration between the Lawrence History Center, Andover Bread Loaf, Lawrence Public Schools and UMass Lowell.