Every fourth grader from the Flint Community Schools attended the "Christopher Paul Curtis Writing Adventure" recently held at the University of Michigan-Flint.
Over 2,500 students have attended the "Writing Adventure" since it was first held five years ago. It was created to encourage young people to find the value in reading, to develop confidence in their own abilities as writers, and to see that people are interested in reading what they have to say.
After describing the process he uses to tell a story, Curtis challenges each student to return to their respective schools and engage in a writing competition.
The students choose one of two selected "story starters" to begin their narrative.
Each of the 11 schools selects one essay from the fourth grade classes to be reviewed by Curtis. He then selects a first, second, and third place winner. All 11 students return with their families and teachers to the UM-Flint campus for a special reception and awards ceremony that will take place on May 29.
"Participating in the program will get them excited and bring them encouragement by someone telling them they did a good job," said Curtis.
The Flint Public Library enriches the presentation through the involvement of one of its librarians and other services. Students are encouraged to use the free resources of the library and explore the world through exciting books of all subjects.
For the second year, representatives from UM-Flint's STAR Program (Smart Teachers as Role Models) will be involved in the presentation. STAR is a collaborative initiative funded by the C.S. Mott Foundation. STAR focuses on providing leadership and development to men underrepresented in the teaching profession.
UM-Flint Education students, both practicing teachers (graduate students) and teacher candidates (undergraduates) have the opportunity to assist with the "Writing Adventure."
The program is made possible through the UM-Flint School of Education and Human Services, and grants from the Community Foundation of Greater Flint and The Stella and Frederick Loeb Charitable Trust at First Merit Bank.