Women’s Writing Workshops in a Community Literacy Center

Developed by Sydney Fox, Fall 2007
“826 Valencia: The Writing Center.” 826 Valencia. 826. 25 Sep 2007 .

826 is an organization which serves population in six major cities, focusing on drop-in tutoring, creative and expository writing, and providing kids ages 6-18, with individualized attention which they may not otherwise receive. It is an organization which focuses primarily on writing, both creative and expository and then publication. They feel that publication is incredibly important in the success of children’s writing. They also offer scholarships to graduating seniors who are moving on to college.

This fun atmosphere allows kids to learn at their own pace and not one which feels like work. When kids are having fun, they are much more open to learning. I think this is a great example of a literacy center doing great work in the community. Obviously the kids feel like they are getting something out of it and with over 1100 volunteers at the 826 Valencia, the community obviously feels like they are getting something out of it too.

“Arizona Literacy & Learning Center.” Arizona Literacy & Learning Center: Improving Literacy in Arizona. 2004. Arizona Literacy & Learning Center. 4 Oct 2007 .

The Arizona Literacy & Learning center is just one more example of what literacy centers can be comprised of. They do not offer GED classes, they do not focus on tutoring, they do not do creative writing. Their only focus in improving and helping kids and adults with dyslexia. They have a couple of testimonies about improving people of all ages self confidence by teaching them to read and write when no one else could. I can use this to show how literacy centers do have a positive effect.

Baird, Irene. “Evolution of Activists: Prison Women’s Writings as Change Agent for Their Communities.” 2001 AERC Proceedings 2001 1-7.

This article provides insight into how prison writing workshops can empower women to create social change. I can use this as evidence in my defining piece.

Barton, David, Mary Hamilton, and Roz Ivanic. Situated Literacies: Reading and Writing in Context. London: Routledge, 2000.

This book illustrates the different contexts for literacy. They highlight that literacy is not only one type of reading and writing, but changes for what situation the reader is in. I can use this as a definition of literacy in my defining piece.

“Cal State Fullerton- Community Learning and Literacy Center (CLLC).” Welcome to Community Literacy and Learning Center. 2006-2007. Cal State Fullerton. 7 Sep 2007 .

Cal State Fullerton just began their Community Literacy Center, so they do not have a ton of information, primarily just a list of initiatives they would like to see happen. They have a much larger scope than we do, and are focusing on getting very involved in the community at large, rather than select groups, as we do. Something we could look into is partnering with the College of Education and work to provide community workshops on increasing literacy in the home. Cal State Fullerton provided a two day workshop/event series where they did provided 21 different seminars. We could look into doing something with that with the English professors who have education concentrations or just professors who have something to contribute. It would be a great way to increase the University/Community interaction.

Carlip, Hillary. Girl Power: Young Women Speak Out!. New York: Warner Books, 1995.

This book provides insight into what is on the minds of girls. This provides me with ideas of the types of issues I should cover in my workshop. I can also use some of their writing for prompts.

“Community Literacy Center.” Occidental College: Community Literacy Center. 2007. Occidental College. 6 Sep 2007 .

Occidental College does not have a separate page or site for their community literacy center. It is simply a description of their center under a community outreach page. Their center is a tuition-based program and is for kindergarten through sixth grade only. Their program is not inclusive enough for us.

“Community Literacy Centers: Teaching Adults to Read.” Community Literacy Centers: Teaching Adults to Read. 2005. Community Literacy Centers. 7 Sep 2007 .

The center focuses only on adults and specifically adults with learning disabilities. I think their range is a little too broad for us, as they sponsor events such as Salmon Bakes with Vintners from across the nation.

Crawford, Mary, and Rhoda Unger. Women and Gender: A Feminist Psychology. 3rd ed. Boston: McGraw Hill Higher Education, 2000.

Goldblatt, Eli C.. ‘Round My Way. Pittsburgh: University of Pittsburgh Press, 1995.

This book discusses the power of language for high school age kids. I can use this to show that approaching literacy in different ways is beneficial to people’s literacy.

Grabill, Jeffrey T.. Community Literacy Programs and the Politics of Change. Albany, NY: State University of New York Press, 2001.

This book theorizes literacy. I can use some of the theories as a basis for why community literacy centers work and what they are built around.

“Hands on Community Literacy.” Hands on Community Literacy. Carnegie Mellon University. 4 Sep 2007 .

The Community Literacy Center at Carnegie Mellon University. They pair up with teens and adults to allow them to write about their experiences and get their voices heard. For one project they publish a newsletter that goes out to the community, other times they meet with the Mayor to discuss their issues. They take a very assertive stance to allow underserved populations a voice. We cannot use their projects directly because they deal with the inner city. Fort Collins has a very different demographic and does not mesh with Pittsburgh. However, we may be able to use some of their more assertive measures to really get the rest of the community involved, rather than simply the people we directly deal with.

Heller, Caroline. Until We Are Strong Together. New York: Teacher’s College Press, 1997.

This book chronicles the lives of women in the Tenderloin district of San Francisco. It illustrates the way becoming more literate can provide a voice to disempowered populations. This will be useful in my defining piece for different types of literacy.

Higgins, Lorraine, Elenore Long, and Linda Flower. “Community Literacy: A Rhetorical Model for Personal and Public Inquiry.” Community Literacy Journal 1.1(2006): 9-43.

This article is the basis for many ideas of what community literacy is. It provides a lot of groundwork for other writers of community literacy. I can use this in my definition piece.

“The Literacy Center: Reach One, Teach One.” The Literacy Center- Attleboro, Massachusetts. The Literacy Center. 7 Sep 2007 .

The Literacy Center is a comprehensive center which services both adults and children. Their programs range from Adult Tutoring, EOSL, Adult Basic Education, after school programs for children, a children’s library, and even a program which helps entire families learn to speak and read English. Their aims seem more in line with ours, though at this point many of these programs are out of our range. An after school program for children could be a goal in the future and a tutoring program for adults could be one we look into now. If we advertise to CSU students, either restricted to graduate students, or open to undergraduates as well, and train them, there could be a year long program in which one tutor has one or more students. I think this is a doable goal.

“National Institute for Literacy.” National Institute for Literacy. 01 October 2007. National Institute for Literacy. 4 Oct 2007 .

This has a lot of information about national literacy and community literacy and different practices that have been successful.

Peck, Wayne Campbell, Linda Flower, and Lorraine Higgins. “Community Literacy.” College Composition and Communication 46.2(1995): 199-222.

This article discusses the way in which different approaches to community literacy can provide results that truly bring the community together. Through their community literacy program they create dialogue between different societal classes. I can use this as alternative literacy.

“Salt Lake Community College.” Salt Lake Community College Community Writing Center. 2007. Salt Lake Community College. 27 Sep 2007 .

The Salt Lake Community College’s Community Writing Center focuses not on literacy education, but on honing writing skills. They have the DiverseCity Writing Workshops which compile into sine cera, a collection of the workshop pieces, as well as (sic), a publication of online writing as well as various other publications. They work within the community, at things such as art festivals and with organizations and companies to help them create their own writing workshops.

Rather than focusing on underprivileged populations they focus on the community in general. This is a great endeavor and one which can really make anyone feel more like a member of the community.

“SDSU Literacy Center.” index. 2004. San Diego State University. 13 Sep 2007 .

The Literacy Center at SDSU is powered by the College of Education. They have a couple of programs for K-12 students and it seems like they work with adults sporadically. Each Literacy Center is sponsored by the College of Education, rather than the Department of English, as it is here. There are huge differences in the scope of the programs. We focus on literacy through reading and writing with books and workshops as our tools, whereas they focus on teaching reading and writing. How does this affect the relationship with the community?

Shor, Ira. “What is Critical Literacy.” Journal Pedagogy, Pluralism & Practice 1(1999). http://www.lesley.edu/journals/jppp/4/shor.html

This article is about why we approach literacy in different ways and the benefits of being literate in more than simply the conventional ways. I can use this in my definition piece.