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School Founders Present White Fund Lecture

Submitted by on January 24, 2019 – 2:59 pm

Habla School founders Marimar Patrón Vázquez and Kurt Wootton.

The founders of a school and creative center in Mexico will present a talk and participatory workshop on international best-practices in teaching as part of the February White Fund lecture offered in partnership with Northern Essex Community College, Marimar Patrón Vázquez and Kurt Wootton, founders of Habla: The Center for Language and Culture in Merida, Mexico, will present “A Brush of Courage: Transforming Schools and Communities through Literature and the Arts.”

Other partners for this White Fund lecture include Feria Internacional del Libro, and the Lawrence Public Library.

This lecture, which is free and open to the public, will be held Tuesday, February 5, at 6 p.m. in the Lawrence Public Library, 51 Lawrence St., Lawrence.

In this bilingual interactive workshop Marimar and Kurt will present teaching practices involving multiple languages, the arts, and literature that transform the view of the 21st century schools and classrooms.

Vasquez and Wootton founded Habla as a space where teachers, students, teaching artists, and education leaders gather from around the world to exchange ideas across languages and borders.

In addition, Habla is a hub for community development. Students and teachers at Habla design and lead community projects in the smaller towns around Merida working with indigenous populations.

Vázquez was born in Merida, Yucatan, Mexico where her family has lived for generations. Her work focuses on how stories, reading, and literature are part of the daily life of communities. At Brown University, she received the prestigious Presidential Teaching Award for her Spanish language courses for university students. Her unique approach to teaching involves storytelling, the literature and culture of the language, from kids to adults.

Wootton is the co-founder of the “The ArtsLiteracy Project” at Brown University. He co-wrote the book “A Reason to Read: Linking Literacy and the Arts,” published by Harvard Education Press.

The White Fund’s purpose is to have a free series of interactive presentations for Lawrence area adults, youth, and children. The audience is encouraged to seek wisdom, cultural enrichment, and intellectual enhancement by attending and participating.

The views expressed in the White Fund Enlightenment Series presentations are the views of the speaker and do not necessarily reflect the views or policies of Northern Essex.

Funded by a generous financial gift from the Honorable Daniel Appleton White, the White Fund Lecture Series has provided cultural conversation featuring well-known lecturers in fields such as history, literature, travel, the arts, and politics. The White Fund is collaborating with Northern Essex on this series.

For additional information or to be notified of upcoming events in the White Fund Enlightenment Series, contact Analuz Garcia at or call 978-738-7423.

With campuses in Haverhill and Lawrence, Northern Essex Community College offers over 60 associate degree and certificate programs as well as hundreds of noncredit courses designed for personal enrichment and career growth.  Each year, more than 6,000 students are enrolled in credit associate degree and certificate programs on the Haverhill and Lawrence campuses; and another 2,600 take noncredit workforce development and community education classes on campus, and at businesses and community sites across the Merrimack Valley.  For more information, visit the website at .