Penn-Edison/Writers House Partnership

From Al Filreis, 4/27/96:

Dear Writers House planning group pals:

A student at the Edison Fareira High School - William McKeever - has visited the Writers House and is very very keen to be involved in our programs for high school writers beginning in the fall. Anyway, you might be interested to know that William has his own homepage.

Minutes of meeting: January 26, 1996

Present: Evelyn Bender, Al Filreis, Shawn Walker

A few of the major tasks facing this partnership: identification of writers at Edison, transportation so that kids can participate in Writers House events, regular planning and coordination.

What can be done with 10th and 12th grade classes? (We discussed that the Penn-Edison partnership already in place would make it easy to coordinate events at first, until our own program is well set in place, at which time we can expand this affiliation.) Tim Waples at Penn presently directs the 12th grade partnership, and Karen Schiff directs the 10th grade partnership.

Some ideas: Theme workshops. Transportation has already been arranged for a partnership with Edison and the Penn Med School. If there is room on the bus that they use, possibly some writers could come for regular workshops at the Writers House. We discussed the possibility of providing a stipend (budget undiscernable) for regular attendance at a workshop which meets once a month for a year at the Writers House. The students could also work ahead and on their own with poetry exercises in the Penn-Edison program.

Overnight Event: Early in September or October, we would like to plan a day and a half retreat for some Edison students, from Friday-day until Saturday. They could have all sorts of events: workshops, cooperative writing, etc. Lorene Cary was suggested as someone who would work well with high school students for part of this event.

Edison already has some cooperative precedent with Germantown Friends School. GFS has a great English Department; the contact would be Anne Gerbner. Possibly cooperative efforts could include a retreat like above, cooperative writing, etc.

Also, Evelyn suggested that it would be good for high school students to have a) some literary/poetry material that they could own themselves and b) guidance about what writers they might be interested in reading. This could be given through workshops, such as described above.

In addition, we would like the Edison and GFS students to be able to cooperate to put together a literary chapbook of their own writing next fall. In conjunction with this, we could put together a film of students reading their work, kind of like a "Video Chapbook." Edison has its own television studio.

Along with forming partnerships through student programs, we would like to involve high school teachers with the Writers House. However, we did not get far with specifics in this category.

Aurel Nister and William McKeever attended the January 20th event in the Writers House. Al suggested we pursue asking William to take on a sort of "coordinating role" from the Edison end of the program: identifying other writers, coming up with ideas, etc. We are working on getting him an e-mail account.

Minutes written by Shawn Lynn Walker.