writing and activism

* Paragon Partnership Outstanding Youth Award 2010: Awarded for developing a Creative Writing Program at local Domestic Violence Shelter and leading two weekly writing workshops for survivors and children.

Speech Lena Gave Upon Receiving the Award That Was Published in Regional Newspaper: “Lena Sclove – Hearing the WordsDaily Hampshire Gazette, Northampton, MA, April 2010 

Public Announcement of Award Recipients: “Five Local Heroes Chosen to Be Honored With Paragon Awards”Daily Hampshire Gazette, Northampton, MA, March 2010

 

* News Interview Upon Publication of Memoir and Local Book-signings: 

A Conversation With Author Lena ScloveDaily Hampshire Gazette, Northampton, MA, June 2009

 

Finding the Confidence to Speak at English For Action Olneyville Neighborhood News, by Lena Sclove

When Brenda Flores began taking classes at English for Action last September, she didn’t speak any English. She only knew very basic words and phrases such as “thank you,” “good morning,” and “how are you.” She was scared to speak, but wanted to begin learning because she knew it was necessary for her family, for communication, shopping in the store, for work, and to defend herself. Flores explains, “Sometimes it is very difficult and sad because people don’t understand my life because I don’t know how to speak English.”

After two semesters at EFA, Brenda is less nervous to speak and now has ideas of how to respond in difficult situations. In her Intermediate class this spring, the learners were given a situation or conflict that they had to solve and then act out their solution in a skit. They worked on scenarios such as returning something to a store or getting pulled over by the police. Flores explains that practicing in the safety of the classroom gave her more confidence to use her English skills in the real world. For example, she was able to effectively communicate at the dentist’s office, thanks to the dialogue practice she had done in her spring class.

Consuelo Robles, a fellow classmate of Flores, is also benefitting from her improved English skills because she now has a new way to connect with her grandchildren, who all speak English. She likes to ask them about the meaning of words, or to explain what they said, and in this way is both learning and deepening relationships with her family. After her second semester at EFA, Flores has concluded that it is a friendly, comfortable, and family-like environment. “All the people are brothers and sisters, and take care of each other,” she says with a smile. “If somebody needs help they can help each other.” This gives a strong sense of community.

 

Beyond The Office: Summer Farm Interns Edible Rhody

….Many farm interns supplement their incomes – farm internships are often unpaid – with other jobs. Regan Lichtenberg, an intern at Cityfarm, also waits tables and works at the Swearer Center for Public Service at Brown University. Lena Sclove, an intern at Sidewalk Ends Farm, also works at English for Action as a facilitator for English language classes. Clearly, social justice and public service are present in the minds of these young women. Lichtenberg also hopes to bring her knowledge to the John Hope Settlement House community garden, where she will continue to work this coming year. Will O’Meara works at Waldingfield Farm  in Washington, Connecticut, and says he plans on bringing his skills back to his university in the fall, where there is currently a blossoming movement towards urban farming and rooftop gardens.

Students are drawn toward this experience for a number of reasons. For many, it is a chance to find an intersection between their academic interests and a unique, hands-on summer job. And spending summer days outside, rather than in an office, is a huge plus. Sclove says that “the intense joy and spiritual connection [she feels] from being so close to the earth, and intimately engaged with the life of the plants” is what draws her to farming…..

 

One thought on “writing and activism

  1. Wonderful blog! I found it while surfing around on Yahoo News.
    Do you have any suggestions on how to get listed in Yahoo
    News? I’ve been trying for a while but I never seem to
    get there! Many thanks

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