Posted by Willy Franzen on November 16, 2008. Jobs updated daily.
How many of you participate in book discussion groups? I’ve never been a part of one, but I had a class in college that might as well have been one. It was one of my favorite classes, and it never seemed to drag by like many lectures did. We had the specific goal of discussing and understanding issues relating to “Values in the Law, Economic, and Industrial and Labor Relations.” At the surface the material that we covered often seemed to have nothing to do with subject matter of the class, but as we started to dig deeper it often became apparent that almost anything could be related to the class title. Group discussion is a fantastic way to learn, and it’s no surprise to me that a Chicago based non-profit organization called Literature for All of Us has used book discussion groups to reach out to teen mothers and other youths from underserved neighborhoods. By reading the same books and then sharing reactions to the material, participants are able to engage with issues that they would probably never comfortably address in a classroom setting.
Literature for All of Us was founded in 1996 with the specific purpose of connecting teen mothers to their strengths through literature, poetry, and discussion. Since then, the organization has branched out to boys (now 20% of their programs), and the model has been replicated across the country and internationally. To truly get a sense of how Literature for All of Us is effecting change in the lives of teen mothers and others, you must watch this video. It follows the stories of a few of the program’s participants as they talk about their struggles with teen pregnancy.
It’s a simple program, but it seems to be working not only to improve literacy, but also to promote the emotional growth of young people who are facing situations that are often too mature for them. If this sounds like a program that you’d like to get involved with, then you’re in luck. Literature for All of Us is currently looking to hire a Book Group Leader / Curricula Specialist for Male Groups. The job requires experience in facilitating group discussions, knowledge of contemporary literature, familiarity with African American and Latin American male authors, and prior experience working successfully with diverse populations and/or groups of young men. It’s a perfect way for you to share your love of the written word with young people who are yet to fully appreciate the power of literacy, and it’s also a great opportunity for Liberal Arts majors to put their educations to work. If you’re interested in applying, you can send a cover letter and resume to email@example.com .
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