Leaders Educated And Prepared

Writer’s LEAP to Sierra Leone


Use Writing and Literature to Connect and Train Leaders

Local Partners

Lawrence High School, Lawrence, MA and Brooks School, North Andover, MA

Global Partners

PEN Sierra Leone

LEAP: We're out to change the world...starting with ourselves.

Vision for Change:

• Use literary partnerships to help students understand the power of writing, creative thinking, discovery, and reflection through the guidance of a professional author.

• Develop a diverse team of writers who will become self aware leaders, unite communities, and focus on a collaborative, entrepreneurial project they can undertake as a group to effect change in their world.


Local Actions:

• A class of 11 freshmen are piloting the implementation of a “writing LEAP” for the entire sophomore class next year as a central part of the World Literature curriculum at the Brooks School.

• Students from Brooks School and Lawrence High School have partnered to connect via Skype with students from PEN Sierra Leone and Trinity University professor and professional author Jennifer Browne through the University of Iowa’s International Writers Project.

• Centered around Ishmael Beah’s memoir A Long Way Gone, about the tragedy of child soldiers during the recent civil war in Sierra Leone, students reflect on their communities and vision for change through their writing.

• Brooks School and Lawrence High School have committed to host 5 students from PEN Sierra Leone in July of 2012.


Global Actions:

• Students in Sierra Leone walk an hour just to reach the PEN center to communicate with their US partners.

• Negotiations are underway with the US Embassy in Sierra Leone to allow the students access to technology to further this collaborative global education.


Future Goals:

• To build confident individuals

• To assess strengths and weaknesses within each community

• To design a plan of action

• To continue to use literature and writing as a means by which to create global education


Community Collaboration:

• During the July 2012 visit, students from all three communities will come together to establish a team of trust, test their assumptions, broaden their perspectives, and add conviction to their mission.


Current Needs:

• Funding is needed for the professional author for the 2012–2013 school year



• Introduce a new level of excellence into classrooms around the world.

• Increased passion and real-world meaning for literature and writing.

• Emotionally intelligent young adults who value sustained personal connections with a commitment to declare a collaborative mission for change.

• Broadened perspectives through conversation and collaboration with students who live in the country about which the book was written.

• Leaders committed to connect education and outreach.


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