The Iowa Youth Writing Project (IYWP) is an outreach collective founded by University of Iowa Writers’ Workshop graduates in 2010 that aims to join Iowa City’s unique literary heritage with Iowa’s larger community by empowering, inspiring, and educating Iowa’s youth through literacy, language arts and creative thinking.
Early intervention empowers young writers
The IYWP seeks to raise $4,000 to purchase writing supplies and snacks for students to make possible our no-cost weekly writing workshops at area schools and community centers and our no-cost summer writing camps.
During the school year, we offer weekly writing workshops at more than 20 area schools, serving over 200 K-12 students every week, every semester. We bring learning opportunities to the students instead of relying on them to come to us, eliminating transportation and accessibility concerns. These workshops are led by University of Iowa students, local writers and graduates of the Iowa Writers’ Workshop; and other talented community members.
In addition, we offer dozens of weeklong camps to hundreds of children and teens every summer to combat the “summer slide” students often experience between academic years—particularly those from low-income households. These summer camps function both as high-quality childcare for families who need it and exceptional outlets for young people to have fun while learning.
Bridging Iowa City’s achievement gap
There is a tremendous accomplishment gap in the Iowa City Community School District between white students and nonwhite students and between students from high-/middle- and low-income households.
According to 2018 data, approximately 38% of students in our district are in economic need. That percentage is over 75% at many schools where the IYWP delivers workshops. These include Mark Twain Elementary, which serves 68% minority students, and where 79% of children are in need. According to a 2017-18 report, only 55% of Twain students read at grade-level proficiency, 19 points below the district average of 74%. The IYWP seeks to bridge the gap between Iowa City’s youth and its literary culture, and we know that this work begins with youth engagement.
We need your help
In order to provide our community with this high-quality, no-cost programming, we need to raise $4,000 from GOLDrush 2019 to fund and fuel it. These funds will pay for writing kits and snacks—two essential components of student success at both our school-year workshops and summer writing camps. Our writing kits offer students tools to create and succeed at our programs and at home (writing utensils, notebooks, backpacks, etc.), and snacks provide them with increased energy and focus. Offering food and snacks also serves our students who struggle from food insecurity at home.
NOTICE: The University of Iowa Center for Advancement is a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt organization soliciting tax-deductible private contributions for the benefit of the University of Iowa. Please visit the UI Center for Advancement disclosures site for additional information.
Choose a giving level
Every bit counts! A $10.00 donation buys a writing kit for one school-year workshop student. Donate $10.00 or more, and we’ll give you a special shout-out on social media.
Holy butter cow! A $60.00 donation provides snacks and supplies for two summer writing campers. Give $60.00 or more, and we’ll send you the aforementioned awards PLUS some bits and bobs of exclusive, limited-edition IYWP swag!
OMG. A $100.00 donation sends three campers to summer writing camp or buys ten writing kits for school-year workshop students. Give $100.00 or more, and we’ll send you the aforementioned awards PLUS include your name and/or company on our “Best Friends’ Club” list on our website.
Look at you go! A $150.00 donation provides a full workshop (fifteen kids!) with essential writing kits. Give $150.00 or more, and you’ll get the aforementioned rewards PLUS we will keep you updated on the site you are sponsoring via a personalized newsletter.
Bravo! A $250.00 or higher donation pays for all of the snacks and supplies we need to lead one weeklong summer writing camp. Give $250.00 or more, and you’ll get the aforementioned rewards PLUS a personalized thank-you note from one of the campers or camp leaders you supported.
HERO STATUS. A $500.00 gift pays for writing kits for three full school-year writing workshops (a whopping 45 students)! Give $500.00 or more, and you’ll get the aforementioned rewards PLUS, we will print your name and/or company logo on our spring 2020 anthologies, listing you as an IYWP workshop sponsor.