I'm the Writers in the Schools program director for Literary Arts in Portland. Each year we place local professional writers in all the Portland Public High Schools and several of the alternative programs to serve approximately 1200 high school students with semester-long creative writing residencies. The residencies culminate in readings at bookstores, cafes and libraries around the city, and a variety of publications: print and digital.
We also bring well-known writers to schools for Q&As with students; this year we brought Wally Lamb, Edwidge Danticat, Greg Mortensen, Jon Raymond, Lydia Davis, Phil Margolin, Gerardo Calderon, Michele Glazer, Ruth Reichl and Rigoberto Gonzalez to PPS high schools, serving approximately 1400 students. We're providing complimentary tickets and transportation for 100 bilingual students (from SEIS on the Roosevelt campus) to attend tonight's lecture by Isabelle Allende.
WITS models the writing life. In our evauations we hear again and again from teachers that working with a professional writer weekly for an entire semester helps students become more confident, willing and competent writers, and that students are better prepared to engage in the full process of writing: brainstorming, writing, revising, editing and publication.
Our writers teach writing across the disciplines; this year we worked in English, English Language Learning, Global Studies, Creative Writing, Modern World History, Art History, Digital Publishing, US History, Multicultural Literature, Spanish for Native Speakers, Linguistics/Social Studies, Freshman Success, and Study Skills classes. We often work in science, math and art classes as well. We see this work as essential for preparing students for college, where they will be asked to write in every class they take.
Finally, WITS strives to connect high school writers to Portland's larger literary and arts community, through our work with TriMet/Poetry in Motion, Powell's, Wordstock, Glimmer Train, Tin House, The Burnside Review, the IPRC, the Portland Art Museum, and Marylhurst's summer art and writing program for teens, show:tell.
Find out more about WITS at www.literary-arts.org
The WITS blog w.o.o.t.s can be found at www.witspdx.com
posted 3 years ago
view in context