Neal Middle School

‘Stories Come to Life Literacy Residency’ with Neal Middle School’s 6th grade students has been an ongoing partnership since 2014.



The writing residency is led by Durham Arts Council CAPS Teaching artist Anita Woodley. This transformative program, sponsored by GlaxoSmithKline celebrates its third consecutive year. The 3-day literacy residency focuses on enhancing the writing skills of over 200 sixth grade students annually, utilizing arts-based integration techniques to spark story writing.


Sixth grade language arts teachers, Rachel Dabiero, Ryan Mullaney, and Alicia Putt collaborated with Mrs. Woodley to integrate a theme for the writing residency.

Mrs. Woodley spends a portion of the residency discussing kindness, peer-to-peer relationships, bullying, personalities, and self-esteem with students. Students have much to say about these topics and discussion always sparks ideas and stories.

Every single student writes their own personal story. After final edits, stories are published into books each student then receives as a residency keepsake. Each year a new volume is placed in the Neal Middle School library.

We appreciate the generous support from GlaxoSmithKline and additional
support from Neal Middle School, Fairway Printing, and contributions made to the
Durham Arts Council Annual Arts Fund.