Iowa Youth Writing Project
The College of Liberal Arts & Sciences Frank N. Magid Center for Undergraduate Writing has been granted a Better Futures For Iowans award to fund a program of collaborative community outreach in partnership with the Iowa Youth Writing Project (IYWP). The IYWP is a dynamic, young nonprofit that provides writing, tutoring, creative learning, and publishing opportunities (at no cost to participants) to youth across the state of Iowa. With the help of its passionate volunteer base (predominately consisting of UI students and faculty), the IYWP brings unique literacy and language arts programs to some of the state’s most at-risk youth via after-school/in-school support and mentorship, as well as a diverse range of extracurricular writing workshops (creative, academic, and interdisciplinary). This activity, which is supported primarily by the Office of the Provost, extends University resources to Iowans and addresses an important goal of the University Strategic Plan—to provide better futures for Iowans.
Since August 2012, the IYWP has focused its attention on youth populations whose voices may be marginalized. Their programming has reached young writers of various ages and backgrounds, including those affiliated with Elizabeth Tate Alternative High School—Iowa City’s public high school for at-risk students; Mark Twain Elementary School—a public Iowa City school that serves a high concentration of low-income families; the Iowa Juvenile Home/Girls State Training School in Toledo—an institution for youth in the juvenile justice system; Monsoon United Asian Women of Iowa in Des Moines—an organization for immigrant and refugee families, particularly for those who have been victims of domestic violence; Four Oaks in Cedar Rapids—a community organization that serves low-income families in public housing projects; and Indian Hills Community College’s Upward Bound program in Ottumwa—a college prep program for students whose parents did not attend college themselves.
The IYWP's continuing goal is to build on the success it has already achieved by securing, expanding, and deepening the impact its programs have on the youth of our state while also introducing UI faculty and students to a life of community engagement. By creating a truly collaborative, interdepartmental volunteer language arts outreach initiative at the University of Iowa, bringing together the University’s faculty, students, and staff with the common goal of social good, the IYWP and the Frank N. Magid Center for Undergraduate Writing have the unique opportunity to impact the lives of a substantial portion of the state’s youth while also reenergizing the vibrant volunteer base within our University.
For more information, please visit The Iowa Youth Writing Project's website.
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Watch the IYWP in action: