For 2019-20, our innovator-in-residence is 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 brings 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 will spend 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 will provide professional development workshops for faculty and staff, give talks and readings for our community and our community partners, and participate in the wider conversations of the School around diversity, equity and inclusion.
Our adult community summer reading text is Kwame’s novel, Swing, which our older students will also read. Kwame will address the community with a kick-off lecture in September.