WIC workshop leaders Greg Santos and Tanya Evanson enjoying the work of their protégés at La Tuque High School using videoconferencing equipment courtesy of the Quebec Community Groups Network. Photo by Rita Legault.
QWF’s Writers in the Community program pairs small groups of young people with a professional writer or literary performance artist who can teach them and, more important, motivate them, to use language to express themselves in productive ways.
Many of the youth we work with have been detained under the Youth Protection Act or the Youth Criminal Justice Act. Others are single mothers – practically children themselves – without strong familial support. There are kids with learning disabilities who haven’t flourished in regular schools, and others who, for various reasons, can’t live at home on a regular basis.
In each project, a writer-facilitator works with a small group for 10 weeks, teaching them language tools, giving them writing prompts, and ultimately, boosting their self-confidence by showing them that they are capable of producing literary work of value.
“Our students feel so much pride upon completion of their writings/illustrations and for many, this is a stepping stone to re-acceptance into their family; a productive academic journey and even into a profession that they never thought possible! … What a beautiful partnership!”
Andrea Yearwood, Team Leader, Mountainview School, 2015
I learned that if you can’t express yourself by talking, writing helps too…. People do appreciate that I try, and they help me to speak. I say thanks to those who have helped me find my voice…. Just 2 years ago, in 2013, I couldn’t talk. Now I write freely…. And surprisingly, everyone has noticed my progress.”
Unsolicited feedback from WIC participant, spring 2015
We would also like to express our gratitude to the following sponsors, without whom the Writers in the Community program would not be possible: