District Students Publish "The First Winter"

District Students Publish "The First Winter"
Posted on 06/18/2019
First Winter AuthorsAt the June 2019 Board of Education Work Session, a small group of young Somali women, who call themselves the United ReSisters, were recognized for their recently published book, "The First Winter." In the book the women share a collection of reflections, conversations, letters and poems about their experiences as refugees and journeys to the United States. The young women are all current or former East and Southwest High School students. 

The young women will be selling approximately 500 copies of the books for $25 each. The proceeds from these books will be shared between the women to be used for their education or other financial needs. Members of the public can purchase a book from the United ReSisters, as well as get a signed copy, at the following locations:

June 23, Union Congressional Church (UCC)
716 S. Madison Street, Green Bay, WI 54301
11:00 a.m. - 11:45 a.m. Upper level in Pilgrim Hall. 

July 8, Migration Advocacy of Brown County meeting
St. Willebrord Church
209 S. Adams Street, Green Bay, WI 54301
6:30 p.m.

July 18, The Art Garage
1400 Cedar Street, Green Bay, WI 54302
Pop-up meet and greet with the ReSisters from 6:00 p.m. - 8:00 p.m.  

The book is also available at Two Shrews Press.

Superintendent Michelle Langenfeld wrote the following forward for the book:

The First Winter is a beautifully written collection of stories and poetry by young Somali women, all current or former students of Green Bay Area Public Schools. The young writers came to our schools with limited English and had little knowledge of the holidays celebrated in the United States or how to be part of community that embraces both the “frozen tundra” and the Green Bay Packers. Instead they brought to school firsthand experience and knowledge of dealing with and overcoming much more than most of us can imagine.

Writing about family, love, laughter, pain, religion, homesickness, humility, courage, strength, perseverance and wisdom, the authors take us to a place where it is undeniable that as human beings, we are much more alike than we are different.

I am proud to be part of a public school district that believes that every child deserves to have access to and opportunity for a high quality public education, which prepares students for the future of their choice. I am proud to be part of a community that works to value every member and recognizes and celebrates our differences. And most of all, I am proud to be part of the educational and broader community system that is contributing to the hope, safety, and well-being of the young women who share their stories in these pages.

It is with deepest gratitude that I write this foreword. These stories are powerful beyond measure and inspirational with the capacity to be transformational. They will surely open minds and hearts!
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