Telling Our Stories in Pictures and Words

See all news

With support from New Hampshire Humanities, the Center for the Advancement of Art-Based Literacy will offer a 5-day summer institute from June 25-29 for New Hampshire teachers who have English learners in their classrooms. The workshop will be held on the campus of Southern New Hampshire University. Using collage made with hand-painted papers, teachers will create their own family immigration stories in pictures and words, to experience first-hand the benefits of composing visual text prior to written text.

Education professor Judy Sharkey will introduce the concept of creating "identity texts" and explain the role they play in fostering critical literacy skills in the multilingual classroom. "When shared with multiple audiences, identity texts can serve as ambassadors for students’ identities, positioning them in a positive light within their school and wider community," Sharkey notes.

Project director and lead facilitator Beth Olshansky, creator of the Image-Making Within The Writing Process® approach, will share a short film she produced, "Our Stories in Pictures and Words As Told By Immigrant and Refugee Children." Throughout the institute, she will help deepen teachers’ understanding of the value of the pictures-first story-making process, drawing from anthropological, psychological, and semiotic perspectives. Local artist/writer Africawit Brooks, age 13, will present her own identity text "From Ethiopia to America," which she created using the Image-Making collage process.


Spaces are limited so early registration is encouraged. No previous art experience is necessary! See more at For more information, email