Kwame Alexander, the 2015 Newbery Medalist, is serving as the inaugural Dorothy A. Carter Writer-in-Residence. He will work with Bank Street School for Children fourth grade (9/10s) students for six weeks, time for their spring curriculum on poetry (April to mid-May). Kwame Alexander has written poetry, picture books, and most recently his novel in verse, The Crossover, which received the 2015 Newbery Medal.
Allie Bruce, children’s librarian for Bank Street College, and Jennifer Brown, director of Bank Street’s Center for Children’s Literature, first met Kwame Alexander when he appeared on a panel at the School Library Journal Day of Dialog (which Allie Bruce moderated). They looked at each other afterward and knew that he was the right person to kick off the Writer-in-Residency. “Having an actual poet as lively and passionate as Kwame Alexander will awaken the 9s/10s to a love of poetry and its possibilities,” said Jennifer Brown.
“It will be an incredibly unique opportunity for both the students and teachers to learn with and from Kwame,” said Greg David and Priya Sitaraman, 9/10’s teachers. “Our spring poetry unit is always so exciting for the 9/10s students, but Kwame’s presence this year likely will take us to a whole different level.”
The Center for the Children’s Literature at Bank Street College has endowed a Writer-in-Residence position in honor of Dorothy A. Carter, in recognition of her contributions to the Bank Street Writers Lab, the Bank Street Graduate Faculty, the children’s literature field through her own books, and her inclusive view of children’s literature and education. Dorothy Carter was the first African American member of the graduate faculty and a founding member of the Lucy Sprague Mitchell Society. She was a published author of picture books and novels for young people, was a Broadway actress, and involved with the Morningside Players. She passed away in 2012.