BLTN Teachers

Youth Literacy for Community Health: Navajo Nation Collaboration Begins

by Dixie Goswami BLTN Director Building from the work that began at Fern Creek High School in 2012 with Bread Loaf’s Brent Peters and Joe Franzen’s food studies program and Paul Barnwell’s (MA  ’13) digital curriculum and came to form the Navajo Kentuckians,  BLTN is moving with its partners in intentional ways to influence policy

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The Bread Loaf Teacher Network digital journal, published semi-annually,  is made possible by a grant from the Arthur Vining Davis Foundations. This issue is co-edited by Tom McKenna, BLTN Director of Communications, and Sheri Skelton, M.A. '97, English Teacher at White Mountain, AK and longtime Bread Loaf Teacher Network member. Dixie Goswami, BLTN Director, provides the guiding vision for the network and its digital initiatives. Contact Dixie Goswami or Tom McKenna for more information or to submit content for upcoming issues.

Networked Literacy: Bread Loaf Teachers and Students in Action

In 1993, about 30 rural teachers from six states, supported by a grant from the DeWitt Wallace Readers Digest Foundation, came to Bread Loaf Vermont to study for their MA in English and to form the Bread Loaf Teacher Network. Their numbers were small and connectivity primitive by today's standards, but they established personal and professional relationships, worked across cultural and other boundaries to connect Bread Loaf courses, their teaching practices, their students, and their students' families. In the beginning they met once or twice a year as BLRTN Vermont, South Carolina, New Mexico and Arizona, Alaska, and Mississippi.  These BLRTNs came to be known in their schools and classrooms, districts and states, and within other networks as powerful teachers and learners, as one of the most experienced and innovative group of ELA teachers in the world when it came to connectedness and digital media learning. Bread Loaf faculty member Ken Macrorie once described BLRTNs as leaders in "the movement for the making of meaning." And they were and are writers: BLRTNs published and presented at a remarkable rate: over 600 articles, books, chapters since 1993, and still counting. (See the Bread Loaf Teacher Network bibliography.)

The Bread Loaf Rural Teacher Network is, thank goodness, always evolving. One change is reflected in its current name, BL[R]TN, but a foundational belief remains: teachers and young people who participate in small-scale networks that support collaborative, engaged learning gain perspectives and understanding beyond their own, and they reliably gain a disposition towards social action. This issue of the BLTN Journal presents a snap-shot of this complex, dynamic organization acting in the world.

  • *BLTN in classrooms and schools
  • *BLTN International: a peace network
  • *BLTN in Lawrence, Massachusetts
  • *BLTN in Kentucky, in Haiti, in New Orleans
  • *BLTN in the Navajo Nation
  • *BLTN in Haiti
  • *BLTN Karachi and El Salvador
  • *BLTN at the Santa Fe Indian School
  • *BLTN at NCTE
  • *BLTN at the Smithsonian
  • *BLTN at Vermont Fest
  • *BLTN and the Navajo Kentuckians
  • *BLTN at the U.S. - Mexico border
  • *BLTN informing policy for teacher leadership and rural and urban education

-Dixie Goswami, Bread Loaf Teacher Network Director

BLTN Teachers

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Investigating the Past, Present, and Future of the Vermont Family Farm

by Bill Rich Vermont Bread Loaf Teacher Network Coordinator and Project Director MA ’99 Vermont BLTN Launches Credit-Earning Course for Vermont High School Students A group of Vermont students from area high schools gathered at Middlebury College on October 10 for the kickoff of What’s the Story: Investigating the Past, Present, and Future of the Vermont

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Digital Literacy: What We Must Teach

by Eloise Lynch AP Language and Composition, and American Literature George Rogers Clark High School, Winchester, Kentucky BLSE Summers 2013, 2014 The tension between what we must teach (what is core and necessarily tested and sometimes what our districts demand, pink slip in hand) and what we must teach (what we undeniably know is important to the

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Navajo Kentuckians at the Smithsonian Castle

Navajo Kentuckians: Food Literacy as Landscapes of Home

On Saturday, November 22, 2014, Navajo Kentuckians shared their ongoing collaboration with Food and Digital Literacy at the NCTE Annual Convention. Educators and student presenters invited attendees to see how food stories and Food Literacy can connect and transform the landscapes of Home—both the interior landscape of person and the physical landscape of place. Download

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BLTN International

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Diplomacy in Action: ABL and BLTN International

 by Dixie Goswami, BLTN Director, and Lou Bernieri, ABL Director Since 1990, when Andover Bread Loaf (ABL) invited South African teachers to attend our summer workshop, ABL has had a vibrant international presence in its program. Although ABL has meager funding to support its work, ABL international alumni continue to work with each other and U.S. alumni

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Peace Literacy in Haiti: Notes from Rich Gorham

by Rich Gorham (MA 01) Assistant Director, Andover Bread Loaf Editor’s note: During late summer, 2014, a team of Andover Bread Loaf youth and educators traveled to Port au Prince, Haiti, to collaborate with Haitian educators for ABL’s fourth international conference. Below are excerpts from Rich Gorham’s detailed account of the experience. Read more about the

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“Travelogues Karachi” Holds Public Reading Event

by Mohsin Tejani (MA 01) Director, The School of Writing Karachi, Pakistan Mohsin Tejani is the Founder and Executive Director of the School of Writing, Karachi, Pakistan, which works in collaboration with Andover Bread Loaf, BLTN, and Write to Change. After attending ABL ’97, he completed attended the Bread Loaf School of English from 1998-2001.

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BLTN and Policy


BLTN Teachers Advise US ED on Rural Education Issues

Over the course of the 2014 summer session, Bread Loaf teachers had the opportunity to engage with the U.S. Department of Education in two “round table” events with ED’s Dennis Bega, and Tom McKenna, who was completing his year as a Teaching Ambassador Fellow for ED.  Bega and McKenna met with Bread Loaf teachers (and

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News and Awards

Nancie Atwell , just released the third edition of In the Middle: A lifetime of Learning About Writing, Reading, and Adolescents (Heinemann). Adam Banks, Bread Loaf faculty (’14) and professor in the University of Kentucky College of Arts and Sciences Department of Writing, Rhetoric and Digital Studies recently received the 2014 Rhetorician of the Year at The

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Secretary Duncan Thanks BLTN’s Rich Gorham

During Teacher Appreciation Week this year, Secretary Arne Duncan called Rich Gorham to thank him for his work in the Lawrence Public Schools and with Andover Bread Loaf (ABL) and its international outreach work in Haiti and Pakistan. Rich was one of only a handful of teachers to receive “Courage Calls,” in a year when

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