What's Happening

News and Announcements from the Bread Loaf Community

The Bread Loaf School of English received a $200,000 grant from the Arthur Vining Davis Foundations to support the Bread Loaf Teacher Network (BLTN). The grant will support BLTN’s efforts to deepen the understanding and practice of digital literacy, create an electronic journal for the publication of members’ writing and research, and extend the Network’s national presence as an innovative professional development resource.


Thanks to help from Rex Lee Jim, MA ’01 and the Write to Change Foundation, Bread Loaf has joined in a new partnership with the Navajo Nation. The goal is to bring talented Navajo teachers and teachers of Navajo students to the Bread Loaf campus in Santa Fe in 2012 and into the Bread Loaf Teacher Network. Watch a video featuring Rex Lee Jim.

Bread Loaf has also begun to develop a partnership with the English department at Princeton University, with the goal of providing outstanding undergraduate English majors opportunities for intensive literary study and independent research at Bread Loaf/Oxford.

The Write to Change Foundation has awarded start-up grants to outstanding Bread Loaf students and alumni who have been trained in writing center pedagogy and practice and who will establish writing centers in their schools in 2012–13. Congratulations to all recipients: Katie Lupo (Pennsylvania), Susannah Kilbourne (Kentucky), Flor Mota (Texas), Deborah Alcorn (North Carolina), and April Raymond (South Carolina).


Dana Olsen and Melissa Nicklaw have joined Elaine Lathrop, Sandy LeGault, and Karen Browne on the Bread Loaf office staff. Dana, a former high school teacher, moved to Vermont from a farm in rural Pennsylvania, where she and her family learned how to pluck chickens, milk ill-tempered cows, make moldy cheeses, and turn sheep fleeces into awkward-looking hats. The busy mother of two can’t understand why anyone wouldn’t want to spend a summer reading and discussing literature. Melissa came to us from Middlebury College’s Office of Human Resources and considers herself an explorer and dreamer, adding, “My work at Bread Loaf allows me to support others who make a difference in the world, and it also makes a difference in my own life.”


Bread Loaf has had a few face-lifts, including bright and airy renovations of Barn East, the Annex, and Treman in Vermont and the Lincoln College Library in Oxford. In Vermont, we’re piloting a new Monday–Thursday schedule for morning classes, with Fridays free for workshops, field trips, thinking, writing, and reading. We plan to inaugurate a writing center at Oxford, following the success of the writing centers in Vermont, New Mexico, and North Carolina; faculty member Beverly Moss will return to Bread Loaf this summer to serve as the overall coordinator of our writing center activities. In addition, Bread Loaf is moving forward technologically on multiple fronts, with the introduction of online course registration, Moodle course hubs for all Bread Loaf courses, and maybe, just maybe, (limited) cell phone service at the Vermont campus.


In October 2011, members of the Ohio BLTN (“Buckeye Bread Loaf”)—David Wandera (coordinator), Vivian Axiotis, Gary Metzenbacher, Chris Moore, Bernie Safko, Mickie Sebenoler, Erin Spear, Beth Stranko—met at Ohio State University, thanks to funding from Promise of Learnings, with special guests Cheryl Glenn, on-site director of Bread Loaf/Santa Fe, and Beverly Moss. The theme was Building Interpretive Communities, inspired by Dixie Goswami’s 2011 class, Using Social Networking and Digital Tools to Engage Readers and Writers. The group showcased classroom projects, discussed the intersection of creativity and standards, and shared a hearty Mediterranean meal. Promise of Learnings continues to support the Ohio Teacher Network and to underwrite fellowships for Ohio teachers to attend Bread Loaf.

Members of the Kentucky BLTN—Brandon Abdon (coordinator), Paul Barnwell, Martha Brennan, Tara Davidson, Susannah Kilbourne, Brent Peters, Erin Wilson, and Sarah Yost—met in December 2011 at Fern Creek Traditional High School in Louisville, an event funded in part by the C. E. and S. Foundation. Special guests included Bread Loaf director Emily Bartels, Fern Creek principal Houston Barber, and vice principal Jai Wilson. Kentucky BLTN teachers, along with a number of their students, presented dynamic classroom works in progress, with emphasis on digital storytelling, food literacy, and satire. Bread Loaf has received a grant from the C. E. and S. Foundation to support Kentucky teachers in 2012–2013.

Colorado BLTN members met for their annual writing retreat in February, in Estes Park, Colorado. Headed and inspired by Lucille Rossbach, the group formed in 2005 and has continued to work on writing about best practices ever since.


In December 2011, faculty member Alex Huang attended the California Association of Independent Schools English Professional Day. Invited by Margaret Ramsey, a student in his summer class on Global Shakespeare, Professor Huang led a workshop for middle and high school teachers on how to incorporate digital tools and videos into their classes.