Authors McCann and Freeman Visit CCSD

On October 16, 2022, Horace Greeley High School was fortunate to host internationally acclaimed authors Colum McCann and Ru Freeman. This event was possible due to support from the Chappaqua PTA. 

McCann and Freeman met with select eleventh and twelfth grade English classes, and the authors invited students into their world of research, writing and uniting people through their stories. 

Greeley English teacher and Department Chair, Jacqueline Abair, shared, “AP English students finished McCann’s Let the Great World Spin last week. He answered many questions, and so thoughtfully engaged with our students.” They discussed the importance of hearing others’ personal stories to become more empathetic individuals and to elevate their voices.


McCann told students, "You as a reader write the book. . . . You extend the stories into the world,” focusing on the power of stories and art to change the world. "Together,” he shared, “we are greater than the sum of our parts."

After meeting with students, McCann and Freeman met with a group of faculty members followed by the District’s administrative team. The visit culminated with a community event held by the Chappaqua PTA.

Chappaqua PTA President, Tara Ramirez, shared, “Our community is so blessed to have been visited by Colum McCann and Ru Freeman. They spent an entire day in conversation with students, faculty and parents, embodying the type of radical empathy espoused in their literature, in their work with the storytelling organization, Narrative 4, and in their lives.”

Both McCann and Freeman are a part of the organization Narrative 4, which focuses on building community through the power of storytelling. According to their website, “Narrative 4 (N4) equips educators and artists to help young people learn and lead with curiosity, deep listening, and imagination.” To learn more about the authors, visit their websites at and