Imagine being a detail on a building: the doorway, window hood, or rooftop, perhaps. What poem would you write about being that detail? How would you draw that detail?
That was the assignment that Louise Sturgess, Executive Director of PHLF, gave to 23 teachers on July 10 and then to 39 students on July 11, during workshops offered through the Western Pennsylvania Writing Project (WPWP).
A site of the National Writing Project, the WPWP is co-sponsored by the University of Pittsburgh School of Education. It aims to improve literacy teaching and learning pre-K through college, across all subjects. Each year the site hosts a four-week Summer Institute for teachers, where teachers engage in intensive writing, inquiry, and leadership work. This summer, the site also sponsored five Young Writers Institutes in the region; PHLF engaged with the Westmoreland Young Writers.
The poems and artwork created during PHLF’s workshops were compiled and published in one book for the teachers and in two E-books for the students (grades 4-6; grades 7-9), thanks to funding support from the McSwigan Family Foundation and Alfred M. Oppenheimer Memorial Fund of The Pittsburgh Foundation.
“We have published more than 40 Poetry and Art books since 2003, ” said Louise, “and, in the process, have helped people understand how the built environment can be a source for inspiration and creativity. As people learn about (and draw and write about) historic places, they naturally develop a desire to further explore and possibly even care for those places.”
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