I'm also thrilled to know that this year, 2017, over 57% of the young people who came were totally funded by scholarship: professional development monies I donated, donations to CWP-Fairfield, and a few grants. The result? Our programs are highly representative of the U.S. population, and not just the 1% of the nation that can afford summer camps and programs for children. In this sense, we've democratized our writing labs.
Also, Ubuntu Academy continues to thrive and those who attend become central to all the programs we host during the summer. Through the contributions I make through PD throughout the year, with the generosity of like-minded donors, and because of the excellence of immigrant and refugee youth in Bridgeport, we have sustained a summer program that is really remarkable. We do this, of course, through ingenuity and creativity.
There's so much to the story of building Young Adult Literacy Labs, and upon getting to the other side of the University process, I'm hoping there will be time to collaborate with my teachers to write the book and/or books about the hard work that goes into our success: publishing the writing of kids, offering an enjoyable summer experience, and sparking a joy in written language they claim is squashed by schools.
I'm going into the weekend with a smile. I left the classroom saddened that I would no longer be teaching kids, but I now see that I have found a way to continue serving them. Not only is their feedback positive and fulfilling, the teachers in our programs report tremendous success, too - to the point that they wish our summer work could be year-round.
I don't know, however, if I have the energy for that!