Writer’s Festival Raises Money for Economic Policy Institute

30716-bm-2.jpg thumbnail116211
Writers_Festival_2(2).jpg thumbnail116212
Writers_Festival_3.jpg thumbnail116213
On Feb. 26, students, teachers and community members from schools across the district came together at Calhoun High School to share their original pieces of poetry, fiction and non-fiction in the first ever Bellmore-Merrick Writer’s Festival.

Calhoun senior Josh Aberman developed the idea to combine a celebration of the written word with a charitable cause. This led to the creation of the districtwide event, which raised more than $600 for the nonprofit organization Economic Policy Institute and enabled 23 students and five staff members to recite their creative writing. The EPI’s mission seeks to include the needs of low- and middle-income workers in economic policy discussions.
“The festival is a great opportunity for writers of all ages to share their talents and celebrate their individual voices,” said Catherine Arresto, an English teacher at Merrick Avenue Middle School and Calhoun High School.
In this format, she said that writers could express themselves creatively and freely while also supporting a worthy cause.

English chair members Adeline Atkins, Mary Donnelly and Kim Serpe organized and facilitated the event. Dr. Linda Opyr, former Nassau County Poet Laureate, kicked off the night with an explosively powerful keynote speech interwoven with her poetry while Josh Aberman acted as the emcee for the evening, closing the festival with a reading of his original poem, “It’s 8:30.” The district is proud to celebrate the creative minds and spirits of some of its most talented students and staff and is looking forward to establishing the festival as a Bellmore-Merrick tradition.