J.H.S. 98 Herman Ridder School


Youth drawing of a house with green lawn and blue sky with white clouds

Community-Word Project students at J.H.S. 98 Herman Ritter have published an anthology of their writing and visual art exploring the ideas of community and home. They worked with CWP Teaching Artists Emma B.B. Doyle and Mohammed Zenia

Crayon drawing of a TV on a dresser in front of window with red curtains. The sky is blue and the sun is shining.

Mi Lugar Libre
Yo en este lugar porque ahí hago
lo que sea y mi lugar secreto
Donde no me preocupo de nada.
– anonymous


Handwritten poem and student drawing of mountains and the setting sun


Mi país es bonito
Mi país tiene montañas
Tiene hermosas playas
Tiene hermosos lugares turísticos
Tiene muchos paisajes
Mi pais es Ecuador
El es mi país
El me vio nacer y crecer
El me puede ver envejecer y morir
Ecuador es bonito.
– by Emily

“This class has been such a wonderful journey as sad as I am that our time is coming to an end,” said CWP Teaching Artist Mohammed. “I feel so honored to have gotten to know you all better. Though we couldn’t always perfectly understand each other, I’ve always felt welcome because your warmth and good humor was evident in every interaction from the start. Throughout the class we have used visual arts and writing to explore community and home and it’s been such an honor to be able to bear witness to your incredible artwork. It was such a joy to see how excited you were, working with the cut up poems, your poems in place were truly moving and I am a better artist because of my time spent with you.”

Cut up pages of printed text in Spanish and English arranged as a cut up poem.

Cut up pages of printed text in Spanish and English arranged as a cut up poem with some black outs.

“I learned the key message offered by the organization [CWP] for the students,” said Classroom Teacher Ms. D’Adamio, “which was also the reason I started teaching, to show students that they have a voice and to ensure that they know that their voice is powerful!”

Ms. D’Adamio recently received CWP’s Educator of the Year Award at our annual benefit. The award is presented to an educator who helps create a positive environment where students can experiment with how they express themselves creatively, how they connect their learnings to personal experiences, and how they develop self-awareness and respect for the needs of their peers.

Colorful drawing of a small house among trees with a bright sunCheck out the full student anthology, mi lugar libre, HERE.

Artwork Type

"Where I'm From"

Student poems and self-potraits reflecting on the questions, “What does home mean to us?” “What physical objects, smells, tastes, sounds, or images remind us of home?” “How can we celebrate our memories by expressing them through writing and art?”