2019-20: Kwame Alexander

In 2019-20, our first Innovator-in-Residence was Kwame Alexander, one of America’s most inventive and inspiring writers of children’s and young adult fiction and poetry. Kwame is the recipient of the 2015 Newbery Medal for his most distinguished contribution to American literature for children. He brought to ASL an abundance of experience that encapsulates the expansion mindset. Having worked extensively with students K-12 on writing for publication, Kwame has helped them explore connections between writing and business—fueling the imagination, and turning perceived failures into successes. He has spent years encouraging students to be authentic in their writing, to enhance their worldview, and to read, read, read. 

Kwame spent the year mentoring ASL students on writing and publishing projects, and modelling the ways that entrepreneurial skills and unlimited thinking can help open new creative endeavors, as exemplified by his own unique writing style and lifework. In addition, he provided professional development workshops for faculty and staff, gave talks and readings for our community and our community partners, and participated in the wider conversations of the School around diversity, equity and inclusion. 

Kwame became ASL's Writer-in-Residence for the 2020-21 school year.