David Wandera, a member of the Bread Loaf Teacher Network (BLTN), is fond of the phrase “What happens at Bread Loaf does not stay at Bread Loaf,” meaning that international teachers who meet one another at BLTN convenings often bring the exchange ideas they develop together back to their classrooms and students. One year, David and fellow BLTN teacher Kelsey Bickers decided to embark on a poetry exchange between their Nairobi, Kenya and Columbus, Ohio (USA) classrooms: hence, Kenyamerica was born. Students began with conversations and poems about snow: according to the Columbus students, something to play in! The Nairobi students were not so sure, so the Columbus students showed their partners how to make snow angels. David remembers when the Nairobi students shared the poem “Where I Am From” by George Ella, using it as a form to create their own poems about self, identity, and place in a time when Kenya was emerging from a dark time in history. Columbus students soon began creating poems in the same model, sharing themselves and continuing to build, with the Nairobi students, a common space to relate to each other’s lives and worlds. Read more of David’s perspective: http://bit.ly/1ai6LGD


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