How can language serve to empower an individual or community? What is the connection between literacy and social justice? What does it mean to become a community builder, and how can a student most effectively and thoughtfully connect with youth of diverse backgrounds? To engage with these and related questions, as well as to gain hands-on experience working with local youth, consider Writing and Community Outreach or Writers in the Community.

WRIT:2100 - Writing and Community Outreach: (3 s.h.) Students in this course work in small groups to lead a weekly one-hour writing and activity workshop for the youth at one of four IYWP volunteer sites. Class time will serve to support, enhance, and deepen the volunteer teaching experience by giving students practical classroom advice, as well as time to discuss and troubleshoot the teaching experience. Course readings and discussion will focus on educational policy (both local and national), the powers and limits of volunteerism, and pedagogy of the oppressed. Students will work collaboratively to create lesson plans and put them into action; write brief reflections on their volunteer experience over the semester; and create a final, printed anthology of youth writing from their site.

Writing and Community Outreach fulfills a CLAS Core requirement in Diversity & Inclusion, an elective for the Certificate in Writing, and the Certificate in Nonprofit Management. It may also count towards the Experiential Learning hours requirement for University Honors.

WRIT:2101 - Writers in the Community: (1 s.h.) Writers in the Community offers students a six-week enhanced immersion into the Iowa Youth Writing Project volunteer experience. In this one-credit course, students work in small groups to prepare and teach five 60-minute creative writing lessons for after-school students at a local elementary school, junior high, or high school.  Class time is spent composing lesson plans, reflecting on each week’s teaching experience, practicing pedagogical techniques by running scenarios, and discussing pertinent essays about literacy, nonprofit work, and education. Enrollment is encouraged for those interested in education, creative writing, volunteerism, nonprofit work, or community engagement.