Writing Our Stories Wins State Award
The Writing Our Stories Program, created by the Alabama Writers Forum and the Alabama Department of Youth Services, was presented the Regional/State Government Innovation Award on May 12, 2012. The award honors select recipients for their use of new and innovative methods to help state, county, and municipal government agencies in Alabama that reach new levels of efficiency and responsiveness. The Writing Our Stories Program is an anti-violence creative writing program. Each October an anthology entitled Young Voices is published as the culmination of this thriving juvenile justice and literary arts partnership. This program was a developed to teach juvenile offenders to write about their lives as a way of enriching their therapeutic experience.
The Shelby County Arts Council and the Alabama Writers Forum has brought this same program to the public school system in Shelby County. Offering this creative writing program at Columbiana Middle School for the last two years, it is used as part of the anti-violence campaign in the school system. CMS recently held a book launch for Learning to Fly, an anthology of the students’ poems written during the 15 week program this spring. A total of fifty-five seventh grade students participated in the program facilitated by Tony Crunk. The SCAC is proud to partner with the Alabama Writers Forum to offer such an innovative program to our county's students.