Free Verse is excited to announce that we were awarded a grant from the Dennis and Phyllis Washington Foundation. Because of their generous support, we will be able to go back to Pine Hills, start visiting Cascade County Juvenile Detention Center, and begin classes at Willard Alternative High School.
We will be working with an amazing teacher at Willard, Gail Chandler, who has been a generous supporter of Free Verse and an amazing resource to her students. She has hosted us in her classroom as the MCJDC teacher for the past two years and is now hoping to work with us in her classroom at Willard.
We will be helping the kids to collaborate on their art by reading one another’s work, offering anonymous feedback, and writing poems and stories inspired by one another’s writing. We believe artistic collaboration and the opportunity to read a peer’s writing will give students access to and understanding of lives different from their own. We also hope it will help to reduce the stigma associated with being arrested and make connections between communities.