Writing Our Stories (WOS) branched out into a public school this year when Columbiana Middle School (CMS) adopted the flagship program of the Alabama Writers’ Forum for the Spring 2011 semester. The Forum worked with Terri Sullivan and the Shelby County Arts Council to bring WOS to the Shelby County School District. This residency was the program’s first partnership with an Alabama public school outside of the Alabama Department of Youth Services (DYS) school system.
Tony Crunk, veteran WOS teaching writer at the DYS Vacca campus, worked with Maite Miller, certified substitute teacher Katherine Jarnigan, and some forty-five students in two sections of Miller’s seventh grade reading class. Crunk met with students twice a week through April. During Honors Day on May 25, CMS recognized the newly published authors and the release of Dreams & Possibilities, their anthology of original poems and stories.
Writing Our Stories is an award-winning creative writing collaborative program whose partners include DYS, the ABSOP project, and the Forum. The Children’s Trust Fund provided funds for the WOS Curriculum Guide. The Alabama State Council on the Arts provides operating support to the Alabama Writers’ Forum.
Additional support for WOS at CMS was provided by the Alabama State Council on the Arts, the Alabama License Tag Grant Program, and the Shelby County Arts Council.
Photos by Parastoo "Paris" Farzad/Birmingham School of Photography