Middle School teacher co-writing book on Kenya

Middle School teacher co-writing book on Kenya

Pato Othieno, left, and Jamey Ponte, right, welcome Middle School language arts teacher Rosie Sansalone. Ms. Sansalone is traveling in Kenya through June 7 as she conducts interviews for a new book.

Middle School language arts teacher Rosie Sansalone is traveling in Kenya through June 7 as she conducts interviews for a new book. 

Collaborating with a human rights organization called House of Friends, she is working with Jamey Ponte and Pato Othieno who live in Nairobi and run the House of Friends.  

Ms. Sansalone, Mr. Ponte and Mr. Othieno are conducting interviews for a book of short stories focused on the people of Kenya. The group is traveling to Nairobi, Kibera, the Mara and Mombasa.  

The project mirrors the “Hear My Story | Be My Voice” book project that Ms. Sansalone orchestrates with eighth grade students in the Harold C. Schott Middle School every year. In the classroom project, her students interview people who have faced injustice and write their stories.  

“I am excited about it, as it will be good opportunity for me to go through the same process I ask of my students,” Ms. Sansalone said before her departure. “I will be training Pato and Jamey on how to conduct the interviews, how to transcribe and we shall begin writing during my visit. They will continue the process after I leave. They will be emailing me transcripts, and I will be doing the final writing and editing of the book in American English over the summer.” 

While traveling, Ms. Sansalone is writing daily reflections in blog for the benefit of her students and in hopes that she can expose mistruths between cultures and share stories which reveal what it truly means to be human.  

“Each story reveals a life changing “WOW” moment when we learn how real life works because we discover that our actions have consequence,” she says. “We notice how even the smallest action converts to real change towards social justice, and we relish the emergence of our real character as we reach our potential to be a vision for others.”  

This is the third blog written by Ms. Sansalone in a series called “Rosie’s Journey.” The first two blogs were from Rwanda and Israel. See her blog here.