by Audrey Seilheimer
Did you know there is an organization dedicated to improving the reading, writing and creative skills of students in Kalamazoo County and that YOUR student has access to their programs? There is!
And it RAWKS!
Read and Write Kalamazoo (RAWK) was founded 3 years ago to give students, parents, volunteers, and educators a resource for strengthening the academic skills of children while building their self-esteem and empathy for others. ANY student, at ANY skill level, from any school in Kalamazoo County may participate. RAWK currently offers programming in several locations, including project based thematic workshops designed for various age ranges, conducted at their offices at The Reality Factory near Downtown Kalamazoo. They partner with Kalamazoo Public Library (KPL) to offer free programming and host various special events and live readings at locations throughout Kalamazoo, like Bookbug.
On October 3rd they will be co-hosting a fundraiser to benefit their scholarship fund. “Martini’s RAWKtober FEST” will offer families a fun community event to attend in support of RAWK’s work with students. From 12:00-4:00pm you may bring your whole family to Martini’s Pizza on Westnedge Avenue and participate in FREE events and games from RAWK. Kids may participate in a live staged reading of their words at 3:00pm, all while enjoying a taste of Martini’s. After 4:00pm there is a $10 cover fee to benefit RAWK as three local bands perform live: The Red Sea Pedestrians, The Corn Fed Girls, and the Out of Favor Boys. This is a great chance for your kids to see a live concert in a family friendly setting during the early evening. Local beers, a wine bar, and food from the outdoor grill will also be available from Martini’s.
NEW THIS YEAR
RAWK is partnering with Kalamazoo Public Schools to strengthen the college-going culture for EVERY Promise Student! They are piloting a “RAWK Writers’ Room” inside of Maple Street Middle School by offering teacher support and individualized attention for sixth graders with long-term writing and reading projects in an English Language Arts classroom. RAWK will also partner with Kalamazoo Empowering Youth For Success (KEYS) Program offering writing workshops for at-risk juvenile offenders. This will culminate in a published #RAWK anthology and a live reading event!
TO LEARN MORE
To learn more about the fall programs offered in your child’s age range, visit http://www.readandwritekzoo.org/events/and register your child for these affordable, creative writing workshops. Every program from Read and Write Kalamazoo aims to strengthen the literacy skills so necessary for every child to enjoy a bright future! Volunteer opportunities are also available and those interested are invited to a volunteer orientation on September 24th at 6:00pm at The Reality Factory, 213 E. Frank Street in Kalamazoo! More info can also be found as new programs are added by following RAWK’s Facebook page, and @readandwritekzoo on Instagram and Twitter!
About the contributor:
Audrey Seilheimer is the Community Engagement Manager for Read and Write Kalamazoo.
She has a love of all things #Kzoo! When she isn’t in the office she can be found snapping photos, writing, traveling the “Mitten State” with her husband and two sons, and working on her little blog @vintagemitten.