Sunday, May 2, 2010

Family Literacy Initiative Gears up for a Busy Spring

Karen Watts, TC ‘93

There may only be a few weeks left of school, but Family Literacy is packing a lot in between now and June. We have two Family Writing Projects continuing into May in Wayne-Westland, Family Writing Workshops scheduled in Hamtramck, Ann Arbor, and Detroit, and a parent workshop in Hamtramck to round out the year.
At our April 27th workshop at West Dickinson Elementary in Hamtramck, children and their parents worked side-by-side to brainstorm, draw, write and share their memories and experiences in their favorite play places. After listening to stories read by Chelsea Hugan about treehouses and blanket forts, students brainstormed some of their favorite places to play and then focused in on a writing topic by sketching their favorite hangouts. Students and parents wrote poems, descriptions, stories, and reminiscences as our youngest writers drew or wrote single words.

One family member commented about the workshop, “I thought it was a great exercise to get the children’s creativity going. I also enjoyed being able to work on my own project.” Students also enjoyed sharing their creations, stepping up to the microphone to read their pieces with pride and enthusiasm.

Tricia Maslowski, TC ’07, and a 4th grade teacher at West Dickinson said, “The workshop was very interactive and engaging for all the families involved. We had students from grades 1-6 represented at the workshop, and every one of them was able to take the activity and adapt it to their own level. Everyone left feeling excited about writing together at home.”

With this kind of feedback from families and teachers, we are definitely excited about reaching out to more schools next year and hope to welcome more TC’s to work as presenters for our workshops. For more information, contact Kim Pavlock ( or Karen Watts (, Youth and Family Literacy Co-Coordinators.

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