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CRW Students Share Their Stories for Immigrant Heritage Week

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In honor of Immigrant Heritage Week, students at 3 of the Centers for Reading and Writing spent the day at Mid-Manhattan Library recording their personal stories with Storycorps, a national oral history project, started 8 years ago. 

Jahara Drammeh (Aguilar CRW student), John, the Storycorps facilitator, and Steven Kopstein, (Aguilar Tutor) chatting before the interview began.Jahara Drammeh (Aguilar CRW student), John, the Storycorps facilitator, and Steven Kopstein, (Aguilar Tutor) chatting before the interview began.StoryCorps' mission is to provide Americans of all backgrounds and beliefs with the opportunity to record, share, and preserve the stories of our lives. Volunteer tutors and students had the opportunity to record their conversations, which are then preserved at the American Folklife Center at the Library of Congress.  StoryCorps is one of the largest oral history projects of its kind, and millions listen to the weekly broadcasts on NPR’s Morning Edition.

Marwlee Dennis (Aguilar CRW student) and Elizabeth Dreier, (Aguilar tutor), smile after their interview!Marwlee Dennis (Aguilar CRW student) and Elizabeth Dreier, (Aguilar tutor), smile after their interview!All day, pairs of students and tutors, and in some cases students and their fellow students, interviewed each other for 40 minutes each, sharing some of their personal anecdotes about learning, about their lifelong goals, about their families, and about coming to America.

Clyde Haberman, of the New York Times, was on hand to listen to some of the stories. His column about two special students, Jahara Drammeh and Senetta Smith, appeared in the NY Times on Tuesday, April 20. Click to read more about how these students came to take their future into their own hands and to attend literacy classes at the NYPL's Centers for Reading and Writing! Neela Vaswani (Seward Park CRW tutor), Senetta Smith (Seward Park CRW student), Terry Sheehan (Seward Park CRW Site Advisor), Ken English, NYPL Literacy Director, and Lynda Kennedy, Director, Teaching & Learning, Literacy and Outreach share the excitement of having CRW students share their stories with Storycorps!from left: Neela Vaswani (Seward Park CRW tutor), Senetta Smith (Seward Park CRW student), Terry Sheehan (Seward Park CRW Site Advisor), Ken English, NYPL Literacy Director, and Lynda Kennedy, Director, Teaching & Learning, Literacy and Outreach share the excitement of having CRW students share their stories with Storycorps!

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