“I always loved when guest artists came to our school. It sparked something in the students to meet writers from other places, and I know for sure it changes the lives of the writers.”
The Origin Project, co-founded by author Adriana Trigiani and Executive Director Nancy Bolmeier-Fisher, seeks to inspire students to find their voices through the craft of writing about their Appalachian roots. The program began in 2014 with 40 students, and now serves over 1600 in 17 schools. Each student is provided with a writing journal at the beginning of the school year. As each student works on their writing project about origin, they take field trips to places in the Commonwealth that celebrate history, music, theater and literature. They enjoy visits from guest authors in historic places including the Barter Theater in Abingdon. Their final writing projects are published at the end of the school year in an anthology and presented in an assembly. Every student receives a copy of the anthology; they are also made available in every school and public library. The anthology is published by the Gupta Foundation in Virginia. The Origin Project fosters a life-long love of reading and writing in students in grades 2-12. Our family stories are the building blocks of our self-esteem and dreams for the future.