Summer 2016 workshop facilitators

This summer, we are grateful for sunshine, fresh notebooks, summer reading lists, and of course, RAWK summer writing workshops! Our summer programming would not be possible without the energy, knowledge, and commitment of the RAWK facilitators. They teach the power of words and celebrate the voice of each RAWKstar. Meet them here!


4th and 5th Grade Camp Facilitator: Bill Brieger

I like to use my words to create nuance. That is to say that learning how to express myself in reading and writing at deeper levels has allowed me to live more deeply because I can both understand and communicate more intricate ideas. I think that a person who is locked into binary modes of thinking, or the idea that everything is simply ‘good’ or ‘bad’, is missing out on such a fulfilling understanding of the world. So I like to use my words to communicate subtleties in everything from social issues to the mind of a fictional character.

Bill is an English teacher who strives to impart the richness of fiction and other types of writing to others. He is a lifelong reader and treasures memories of being read to every night in his childhood. He was first inspired to write when he won a story contest in first grade that provided him with the opportunity to meet famous authors. Bill is motivated by exposing young writers to great stories and to their own potential as writers.

A few of his favorite things!

Infinite Jest by David Foster Wallace

Why is Bill excited to be involved with RAWK?

RAWK is exactly what the world needs: a space where young people are shown how powerful and creative their voice can truly be. Kids are able to collaborate and exchange ideas with other kids and adults who are passionate about the power of writing and the thrill of imagination. The fact that the impetus for RAWK comes from such a selfless and giving place informs the whole culture of the program. Here students are shown that their writing is amazing, not because it will help them to be more marketable or prepared for scholastic exams, but simply because it can help them to better know the world and their own self.


Middle School Camp Facilitator: Stephanie Hampton

I like to use my words like puzzle pieces. Like a jigsaw puzzle, you can fit them together in ways that make sense and create a picture for the reader.

Stephanie is a marvelous middle school English teacher at Maple Street Magnet School in Kalamazoo. Stephanie’s passion for reading began in the third grade when her school librarian got her hooked on the Black Stallion series. Poetry, spoken word slam poetry, and creative writing and her passions. She enjoys the ways in which reading connects to daily life, and also the ways in which creative writing is linked to all forms of writing.

A few of her favorite things!

Just Mercy: A Story of Justice and Redemption by Brian Stevenson

Thank You, Ma’am by Langston Hughes

George Ella Lyon’s poem Where I’m From

Why is Stephanie excited to be involved with RAWK?

RAWK continues to get me excited about reading and writing with every single project! I love RAWK’s sense of community building. They have no biases; they strive to build literacy with each and every person they meet, whether you are a young writer or a veteran teacher. Acceptance is at the heart of these amazing people. Through reading and writing, they help build relationships that lend to the great human potential we are all capable of having every day.”


High School Camp Facilitator: Shaun Wayman

I love to use words to talk about food, fighting, traveling, politics, and pop culture. I especially like to talk about these things through the medium of poetry.

Shaun is a passionate English teacher at Paw Paw High School. He also dedicates his time to Western Michigan University’s Third Coast Writing Project leadership team. Some of his earliest memories involving reading and writing continue to be impactful in his life today. A quote from General Robert E. Lee that his father shared with him, “Be careful what you believe as ‘Truth,’” led him to regard reading and writing as the experience of making truth that should be pressed for maximum accuracy. As a second grader at Kalamazoo’s Winchell Elementary he proudly won a contest for reading the most books!

A few of his favorite things!

He says he would never chose favorites! To name a few: David Foster Wallace, William Faulkner, Dianne Seuss, Billy Collins, Ta-Nehisi Coates, Cormac McCarthy, and Andrew Sullivan. He also loves the Chinese and Japanese masters, such as Yosa Buson.

Why is Shaun excited to be involved with RAWK?

I am very excited to be involved with RAWK because I love reading and writing, and I love Kalamazoo!”


RAWKIN’ Roads Camp Facilitator: Mickey Moses

I use words as a form of activism. I find that one of the best ways to inform people of injustices and incite change is through stories. I also believe that words can be used to empower people. Helping people tell their own stories and reveal their personal truths is really important to me.

Mickey is a lifelong reader who has never failed to become absorbed into her books, including R. L. Stine’s Goosebumps series during her childhood. The suspenseful novels lead Mickey to dreaming of being a horror writer, but instead she grew up to be a talented teacher and playwright. She finds playwriting to be special, because it allows her to literally see her words come to life. She devotes most of her days to convincing younger people to love the written word as much as she does!

A few of her favorite things!

Author James Baldwin

J. K. Rowling’s  Harry Potter series (She has read it three times!)

Why is Mickey excited to be involved with RAWK?

“The community! Everyone from the staff to the students are amazing. I've really enjoyed all the workshops I've been able to attend. The intimacy that occurs in a group of people dedicated to helping each other create something is unparalleled. I'm looking forward to making lots of new friends and being inspired.”