The Impact of ABL

Andover Bread Loaf (ABL) partners with schools, community organizations, and cultural institutions to develop educational and cultural workshops, programs, and events for youth, educators, and activists. We believe that the power of writing and sharing in connected groups is essential when building community, creativity, and literacy.

ABL is not a “program” or a “methodology” but rather an educational and social philosophy that is used as the basis for programs, conferences, and events that empower youth and advance social change.

2022: Rebuilding Community

Much of the 2021-2022 academic year and summer focused on rebuilding the programs, workshops, and networks that were severely damaged by the Covid pandemic. Virtual programming was important and effective, but it could not replace in-person work, particularly within ABL; our programming is based on relationships and collaboration.

2021-2022 was also about the critical importance of restorative work for youth and adults. The past few years have sent our world into collective trauma for many reasons. ABL’s response to this crisis has been to embed restorative work in all ABL programs and partnerships.

In Action: Andover Bread Loaf

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Lawrence Student Writers Workshop Participants React to the Impact of ABL

"I love being part of the community that is built in this space and love hearing people’s voices. This is an amazing family."
"I always leave Bread Loaf with a fervent desire to return to my community and bring ABL with me."


"I’ve been working in my community doing Bread Loaf with younger kids. I’m able to bring something to them that is not like school, that is freeing. I’m an activist for social justice because of Bread Loaf."
"I learned a lot about myself, my style, and how I interact with people. My social skills have skyrocketed and I feel more confident. I learned that no matter what happens, you are where you are because you are supposed to be there so make the most of it. These three weeks traveled by fast but I’ve learned so much about this community, the people and the stories Lawrence holds."

Educators React to Summer 2022

"I was surprised to find my writing voice again. I feel more driven to create communal writing spaces for both adults and youth as ABL shows how it can support developing literacy, community, confidence, and healing. - ABL Educator Workshop participant, 2022 (New Orleans, LA)
I have definitely learned things about myself through the writing, discussion, and movement that will help me be a more engaged and creative teacher. I am perhaps most excited to be part of the ABL network, both locally in Lawrence and internationally... There are so many possibilities in this surprisingly large network of stellar human beings. - ABL Educator Workshop participant, 2022 (Lawrence, MA)

Lawrence, MA

Andover Bread Loaf's primary site is Lawrence, Massachusetts, where its impact in schools and the larger community dates back to 1987. ABL serves students in grades pre-K – 12, teachers, and community organizers. ABL offers summer programs for youth and adults, year-round student programming in Lawrence, a professional development network for adults, and conferences and workshops throughout the year. ABL’s Writing Leader program fosters youth development, training high school and college youth to be teachers, leaders, and activists.

ABL partners with Lawrence-based schools, nonprofit organizations, and cultural institutions to run programs like the Rising Loaves, held annually at the Lawrence History Center.

Across the U.S. and around the world

While primarily based in Andover and Lawrence, Massachusetts, ABL also supports programming in sites across the U.S., partnering with communities to offer professional development, share resources, organize conferences, and support community-led programming. In 2022, ABL’s summer Educator Workshop enrolled 15 teachers and community organization staff from Lawrence; Baton Rouge and New Orleans; Puerto Rico; El Salvador; Haverhill; Navajo Nation; and Boston. Reestablishing active ABL networks in these locations began in the summer program and will extend throughout the school year.

Additionally, ABL's reach extends outside of the United States through its active international network. During the 2021-2022 academic year, ABL organized two virtual professional development conferences run by ABL alumni, and 50+ adults and youth from outside of the U.S. participated in each conference. ABL’s international network includes educators from New York City, Lawrence, Boston, New Orleans, Puerto Rico, India, El Salvador, and Pakistan.

ABL's summer Adult Educator Program brings teachers and community organization staff members to campus for intensive training and lived experience in the ABL pedagogical model.

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ABL summer programs offered by Phillips Academy and Lawrence partner institutions

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ABL academic year programs offered by Phillips Academy and Lawrence partner institutions

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youth participants in the flagship Lawrence Student Writers' Workshop

90%

of youth in the Lawrence Student Writers Workshop identifying as Latine

Looking Ahead

An important goal for the 2022-2023 academic year is to help make ABL partner programs sustainable, particularly its programs with the Boys and Girls Club of Lawrence, the Lawrence History Center, and the Lawrence Public Library. This work is both financial and programmatic. Strengthening the pipeline of youth leaders from the program offered by the Boys and Girls Club of Lawrence (Slice) to that offered by the Lawrence History Center (Rising Loaves) to the Lawrence Student Writers Workshop at Phillips Academy is work that began in 2021-2022 and will continue in 2022-2023.

Additionally, ABL will continue to rebuild its cohort of Writing Leaders, focusing on developing a new cohort of youth to facilitate programming during the summer and academic year.