You may have been in a book club before, but we're sure it's nothing like our SECRET BOOK CLUB.
What does being a member entail? You'll meet in cool places around Kalamazoo, get cozy and read whatever book you bring, and then we'll share about the cool things we just read. Did we mention our meeting location is always changing and always VERY COOL?
Want to be in the loop? We'll share dates a few weeks ahead of time, and locations JUST before the meeting because that's TOP SECRET info. You'll you'll want to SIGN UP.
This is an all ages, family-friendly book club. Students 6 and under must have a parent/guardian with them.
Summer Writing Workshops
Summer workshop writers spend a week's worth of summer afternoons (20 hours!) sharpening the tools in their writers' toolboxes —observing, interacting, writing, reflecting, and responding through workshopping. Our summer workshops explore a variety of genre and style, providing new territory and a solid platform for all young writers to exercise their authentic voices.
We go on walks to seek inspiration, we share stories, laugh together, and fill page after page of our RAWK journals. Guided through creative play and prompts by a team of local teachers and authors, our summer workshops culminate in a published anthology of student work. We celebrate the published book at an annual public reading event at the end of the summer at Bookbug, a locally owned bookstore and RAWK champion.
Thematic Writing Workshops
Our thematic writing workshops rely on the creative community of Kalamazoo. Local educators, artists, and makers work with our RAWK educational staff to create and facilitate project-based workshops that are fun, innovative, and complementary to national curriculum standards. We've stamped lines of poetry into copper bracelets, learned tips of the trade from a local graphic novelist, and have spent an entire day writing, rehearsing and performing plays with local actors and playwrights — and that's just a fraction of the fun ways we've collaborated.
Partnering with schools is one of the most essential aspects of our service. Since students can't always come to us, we come to them. In collaboration with teachers and administrators, we design programs that complement classroom learning, offsetting the challenges of large class sizes and inadequate resources.
Every student has different needs, and offering more positive adult interaction and academic support helps to create equitable access to opportunity. Current in-school programming includes:
RAWK Writers' Room (RWR) — In partnership with Maple Street Middle School, RWR offers support for classroom teachers by providing a RAWK facilitator overseeing a team of volunteers giving students supplemental one-on-one and small group time during the school day. In addition, RWR allows teachers to split larger classes into multiple teams in order to alleviate some of the stresses caused by large class sizes. The RWR team supports in-class curriculum, provides tutoring, feedback, and inspiration, while students enjoy more of their classroom teacher's individualized attention. This small-group, project-based learning encourages voice, improves basic skills, and creates opportunities for the development of meaningful intergenerational relationships.
Your name in lights — that's pretty exciting. But your words printed in a book? That's the absolute best! Nothing validates and celebrates young voices more than providing opportunities for them to publish their work. As working together to create something is at the core of what we do, many of our camps, programs, and workshops culminate in a published piece, be it a magazine, a bound anthology, or a self-published zine.
Check out ourRAWK Shop where you can purchase any of our publications. Not only will you laugh, cry, and be moved by the thoughts and ideas of RAWK students, but your purchase will help us to continue to create innovative programming and provide scholarships for any student in need.
We are just one of many organizations in Kalamazoo bringing this dynamic community around our youth to lift their voices up and out. Collaboration is essential to building relationships and fostering channels of communication, so we seek to partner with other groups and programs in order to connect with more volunteers and serve more students and families.
Through developing curriculum, combining resources, and designing collective programs, we've worked with so many vibrant partners, including:
KEYS (Kalamazoo Empowers Youth for Success) is a project of the Kalamazoo County Juvenile Home and the joint effort of many Kalamazoo-area youth-serving organizations.
Offered as an alternative to incarceration, KEYS provides enrichment opportunities for low-risk youth offenders ages 13 – 17. We bring our model of small group, low student-to-adult ratio, and dynamic connection to KEYS in order to realize more instances of creative and positive interaction. KEYS strives to create avenues out of the cycle of youth incarceration, and we are honored to partner in their efforts.
Write-a-thons, type-ins, community book readings, writing at the Farmers' Market, and live storytelling shows ... Our RAWKin' students know how to put the special in special events.
Be sure to keep an eye on our events calendar to know what's happening soon, and join our mailing list to be directly in the loop.
Favorite events include:
Write On! RAWK On! — our annual daylong writing party for all ages, with guests, prizes, and zany prompts and inspiration.
RAWK Reads — our summer book release and live student reading hosted by Bookbug.
Community Read Along — we gather together and read aloud, sharing in the joy of a great story well told.
RAWKtober Fest — family fun, food and bev, and local music hosted by Martini's Pizza.
DIA del Diego — a family trip to the Ford Rouge Plant and the Detroit Institute of Arts to study the Industry murals of Diego Rivera and his inspiration, and to write and share our reflections, in partnership with Western Michigan University.