“There will be no other words in the world / But those our children speak.” –George Oppen
Writing Your Community is a school-based creative writing residency program for K-8 students with the goals of developing creative and critical thinking skills, promoting a love of reading and writing, and helping students find their voice.
In the fall and spring of each year, the Poetry Center places teams of writers in local classrooms to lead creative writing workshops for six to eight weeks. Programs are available both during regular class time and out-of-school time. Schools can select programs in the genres of poetry, fiction, and creative nonfiction. At the end of most programs, the writing team will help your students create and publish a class anthology or other cumulative project. At the end of the residency, each student receives a copy of the anthology and reads a selection of their work at a celebratory reading.
Writers come from a variety of backgrounds. Some are UA undergraduate or graduate students studying creative writing and/or the humanities at the University of Arizona, some are published professional writers from the Tucson community. Participating K-8 students benefit from writing alongside UA college students and the UA students are mentored by professional writers who bring innovative, contemporary, and culturally authentic literature and writing techniques to the classroom and serve as an example of a writer at a different stage of their career.
Classroom teachers are also important members of the writing team. They agree to participate in the lessons and write alongside their students, manage classroom behavior, develop goals for the program, communicate with parents and school staff, and check in with the writing team on a regular basis, providing guidance and suggestion.
A typical Writing Your Community residency begins before the writing team even enters the classroom with a planning meeting that includes classroom teachers, all members of the writing team, and Poetry Center staff. During this meeting, the classroom teacher’s goals and the community needs are discussed. Once the planning meeting is complete, the team visits once a week for six to eight weeks.
In addition to getting students excited about literature, partner schools receive additional benefits such as recognition on the Poetry Center’s website and the chance to have their students’ work published in such forums as Bear Essential News, the City of Tucson street car reader boards and buses, special exhibits at the Poetry Center, and city-wide anthologies.
Learn more about the Fall 2016 community partners we work with to make these residencies happen!
To apply to be a partner, please download and fill out this application. Fax it to (520) 621-5566 or email it to firstname.lastname@example.org.