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Getting to know crows; Boys & Girls Club of Lawrence hosts art and writing program

By Terry Date, Eagle Tribune

A teen writing leader from the crow program read his poem to the room at the Boys & Girls Club of Lawrence, telling families he's a collector of experiences, especially firsts.

John Omosefe, a senior at Central Catholic High School, said he collects hope, joy and stories, including those he has heard his parents tell of their journey to America to build better lives.

"For, like the crows, I collect things that gleam bright and shine light out into the world," Omosefe said. "Because it is these things, these memories, stories and smiles that catch my eye ...."

An eye-catching spectacle of crows, which gather by the tens of thousands for their winter roost in Lawrence, evoke a range of emotions in different folks — from fear to fondness. Just as people do.

The aim of the club's art and writing program — led by art therapists with LA (Lawrence Arts) House and writers with the Andover Bread Loaf Program through Phillips Academy — was to enlarge Lawrence children's perspectives of the birds and themselves.

The vehicle was projects that contemplate unique qualities that crows — and people — possess. 

Next, on this winter's night, Feb. 28, kids and a few moms followed Omosefe's lead, making a line at the mic to read what they had written about themselves and what they collect or would collect.

A girl with red hair named Kennedy was too shy to read what she had written, but she stood by Lawrence High School junior and writing leader Kaylee Sostre as she read Kennedy's words.

“I collect love and throw away hate," Sostre read. "I collect hope for other people because they might need it."

Another girl, with a high voice, said if she collected anything, it would be toys and art and rocks because they have different colors."

A boy said he collected coins because he likes money.

Mom Sandy Gabin said she does not collect anything now.

"If I was given the opportunity, I would collect trash, not for me, but for everybody," she said. "I want my city to be clean for everybody."

The gathering in the big education room upstairs, called Family Bread Loaf Literacy Night, showcased the crow art and writing that 17 club members, ages 7 to 11, had done over the four recent Fridays in January and February. 


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