"One of the best things about this project is that everyone who participated had the opportunity to give input and help create the song. Being able to read a book and give feedback and express my opinions in a form other than writing was a refreshing thing fro me."
Daniel A. J. Brown
"When I finished reading Kindred, I thought that I knew all there was to know about the book, but AFL taught me to put myself in the shoes of different characters. I also learned the significance of group work, where everyone contributes something to make a final product."
"Not only did you help us on our song, but I think that you also helped us to interpret Kindred better than we could previously."
"It was such a different experience from our regular English class. We needed a little time off from all the pressure and work. We learned so much in the four weeks. We could not have learned all this in any other class. For all your teaching, thank you."
" Through songs and lyrics the characters were brought to life and I was able to learn more about them than if I had repeatedly re-read the book. This allowed me to further understand all of the aspects and characteristics of each character. I was also able to understand the viewpoint of other students."
" It was nice to see how much you cared about our education and that you always wanted our input in every activity. The exercises you lead always got our minds working and then the ideas wouldn't stop coming and it was funny that sometimes you had to stop the ideas because we had TOO many!"
"I think AFL's Ekphrasis Project was a great chance for myself and my classmates to put our creativity into a book and deeper analyze what we read. I feel that I understand themes better and I find it easier to relate to the characters. You made an impact on how I think when I'm reading."
"The Ekphrasis Project helped me to become more confident and to be more open-minded."
"It was great that you came up with a new teaching strategy that wasn't boring and could be fun...It was great how you applied many of the arts into the project. Singers got to sing, writers got to write, musicians got to play their instruments. We got to sing and open up to people -- we weren't afraid to speak our minds."
" I was worried about my English, but you were kind and nice and always encouraged me. I learned it's very important to give ideas in projects because other people might want to hear my opinions. I wasn't sure about the theme of Kindred before, but after the project I learned: people shouldn't judge others by their skin colors."
"The project gave me the opportunity to learn a different kind of literacy that I would not learn in a school on a regular basis...When the project finished, I think I was more open with my peers and more confident in myself. It also taught me to speak louder and sing."
"I loved how at first, we didn't really know what to do -- we were all scared. But by the end of the this project, everyone was adding their own things and suggestions."
"We started out as a shy group but as time progressed we got along and made a masterpiece that I think is a really good song!"
"The free-styling really helped us by saying our ideas that first come to our minds. It seemed to make the lyrics creation process much faster."
"Although being able to better our connection and understanding with a piece of literature is a very difficult thing, you managed to do just that and it gave me a new perspective on ways to learn ...I will remember it forever."
"I am really proud of our work as a class and that we were all able to listen to each other's ideas to bring together a song that will entertain and help others learn about the novel Kindred."
"This experience has taught me how to work better as a team, and how the arts can affect people's imaginations and visions. Art inspires many people, and Kindred inspired our class to make a song."
" I enjoyed the teaching method of this project since it was fun, but it also got us engaged in the book more seriously. The project introduced to me a new way of looking at how slavery and segregation brought our world backwards and not forward into the future of mankind, but also that every being on this earth has a purpose, no matter what gender or race you are."