A new community writing program at Indiana University East has received a grant from the Women’s Philanthropy Leadership Council (WPLC) at Indiana University. Red Wolves Write was awarded an $8,000 grant from the WPLC.
Red Wolves Write is a community-oriented, yearlong program is centered on writing intended to bring together college students and diverse community members for reading, conversation, writing, and reflection in a supportive environment.
The program will serve high school students, juvenile offenders, older adults, and English language learners. Through the program, participants will discover opportunities to connect, share stories and learn about each other.
Frances Yates, director of the Campus Library, coordinated the grant application.
“We are appreciative of the support of the IU Women’s Philanthropy Council and their recognition of the importance of connecting campus and community through writing. Our goal is for the Red Wolves Write program to serve as a catalyst to bring together diverse individuals who will share their unique stories,” Yates said. “We are excited that, thanks to the financial support of the WPC, we will be able to celebrate their writings through public readings and a published book, as well as an interactive online venue. Red Wolves Write represents a variety of disciplines from the School of Humanities and Social Sciences and will provide IU East students with a valuable experiential learning adventure.”
Dean of the School of Humanities and Social Sciences Ross Alexander said, “This grant represents a significant collaboration among several groups, offices, and faculty members on campus and supports a very important program. All of those involved possess an inordinate and impressive commitment to our students. I am proud of them all.”
Red Wolves Write programs will be under the direction of faculty coordinators including Stephanie Whitehead, assistant professor of criminal justice; Tanya Perkins, lecturer of English; Christine Nemcik, assistant professor of history and world languages and cultures; and Sarah Harris, assistant professor of English.
Additionally, each Red Wolves Write program will have a student coordinator, providing these students the opportunity to excel in leadership, develop project management skills, and be a peer role model to motivate other IU East students to become engaged community citizens. Katelyn Brown, a junior biochemistry and Spanish major at IU East, has been selected as the student coordinator for the Los lobos rojos escriben program.
The Red Wolves Write program will target four distinct groups:
- Red Wolves Write Online: will help area teachers better understand and resolve the gap between high school and university writing. It will encourage area students to prepare for college, and strengthen the connection between Indiana University East instructors and students with community members in the IU East service region.
- Red Wolves Write with Wernle: will provide strategies for vulnerable youth to make positive choices using a literature-based and therapeutic writing approach. It will also enable IU East criminal justice students to improve the communication and social skills needed to be effective criminal justice professionals.
- Red Wolves Write with Older Adults: will give participants the opportunity to share, through discussion and writing, the transformative effect “place” has on their lives. IU East students will improve communication skills interacting with older adults; learn new research skills, and enhance their use of reflective writing to communicate their understanding of community history.
- Los lobos rojos escriben: will develop IU East students as cultural ambassadors. They will use writing and language learning activities to improve the literacy of English language learners who are within the 5 percent of households in Wayne County where Spanish is the primary language.
Nemcik will be the coordinator of the Los lobos rojos escriben program. She has worked with ELL students in the Richmond area schools through service-learning in IU East Spanish language classes and projects of Spanish language students and the World Languages and Cultures Club.
“We are extremely grateful for the support of the IU Women’s Philanthropy Council, which will enable us to expand these reading and writing programs with area English language learners. This program is significant for facilitating improved literacy of ELL students, and has meaningful impacts on IU East students in expanding their cross-cultural awareness and helping them to promote a campus-wide appreciation of the increasing diversity of the Richmond area,” Nemcik said.
Perkins said the project moves writing out of the classroom and into the community.
“When students collaborate with our community’s older citizens, they’ll come away with a new perspective on the significance of local places,” Perkins said.
Writings from all program participants will be published in a book as well as published online at iue.edu/redwolveswrite.
About the Women’s Philanthropy Council at Indiana University
The IU Women’s Philanthropy Leadership Council was convened by the Indiana University Foundation Board of Directors in 2010. The WPC’s mission is to lead fundraising and engagement efforts that inspire women to give of their time, talent, and resources to Indiana University, and to develop women leaders in philanthropy.
Founded in 1936, the Indiana University Foundation maximizes private support for Indiana University by fostering lifelong relationships with key stakeholders and providing advancement leadership and fundraising services for campuses and units across the university.