All School Read

February 6, 2023

Cheshire Academy’s All School Read returned with a momentous morning of programs, held on Friday, Feb. 3.

This year’s novel, “With the Fire on High,” written by New York Times bestselling author Elizabeth Acevedo, follows high school senior Emoni Santiago as she pursues her passion of cooking, all while she supports her daughter and grandmother.

Starting off the program was a keynote performance from Phil Kaye of Project Voice, a nonprofit organization that has worked with hundreds of schools in 30 countries, promoting empowerment, improving language skills, and spurring creative collaboration in students from kindergarten through university level.

During his performance, Kaye shared poems he’s written over the years, which cover a range of topics including his childhood, grandparents, mother, and a dog he and his partner acquired during the COVID-19 pandemic. Afterward, he fielded questions from faculty, staff, and students about his writing process and how to overcome stage fright, to name a few.

Students later attended myriad workshops, all of which tied in themes from “With the Fire on High.” Groups cooked empanadas, practiced yoga, adapted book excerpts into creative stage performance, crafted papaya milkshakes, wrote stories, found hope and passion in their names, created care packages to donate to a local shelter, and much more.

Kaye also led a workshop in Bowden Hall’s Blue Room, where attendees built skills and confidence to create and perform written work. Other special guests included poet Sarah Rizzuto, local crafter Diane Nerkowski, and Ayurvedic wellness coach Andrea Rodgers.

To see photos from the day, visit our Flickr photo gallery.