Camden County Cultural and Heritage Commission Grant
February 10, 2022
By Tom McLaughlin
the House of Writers at Rutgers University – Camden will once again host a day-long program that invites high school students to experience writing in a wide range of professions. This opportunity is supported by an $11,150 grant from the Camden County Cultural and Heritage Commission’s Local Arts Program.
The conference is scheduled for April 8, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Now in its fourth year, it allows high school students to learn from a variety of professionals, including poets, journalists, lawyers, science writers and social activists, as they discuss their work. “We hope students will come away with a broader sense of the role of writing in a number of careers,” said Leah Falk, program coordinator for Writers House. “Equally important, we hope they will get a better sense of day-to-day work in occupations that may interest them.”
The annual conference was canceled in 2020 and held virtually in 2021, due to COVID-19 concerns. New grant allows Writers House to build on year-over-year growth of event and invite keynote speaker Randy Ribay, author of middle and young adult novels and former teacher from Camden High School. The award will also fund workshop delivery costs, including transportation, promotion, and staff.
“I’m thrilled to involve Rutgers-Camden students in the moving parts of a program like this,” Falk said. “The support from the Camden County Cultural and Heritage Commission, as well as the New Jersey State Council of the Arts, shows critical support for our program’s mission. Equally important, we aim to connect high school students with various aspects of the college experience as they visit the Rutgers–Camden campus for the day.
Falk noted that the conference is emblematic of Writers House’s mission to foster meaningful connections through the act of writing and hopes to introduce up to 60 students this year to professionals for whom writing is a crucial skill and analytic. “We hope these connections, as well as students’ discoveries of new areas and skills that interest them, will last well beyond the day of the event,” she said.
This year’s conference workshop leaders include alumni, faculty and staff from Rutgers–Camden. Rutgers–Camden’s Office of Civic Engagement and Future Rutgers Scholars (RFS) helps with conference planning, public transportation, security, and student recruitment through RFS and other programs. Camden High School teachers and administrators publicize the conference to participating students and families.
“This program is a great example of how we can work with other educators in the Camden community to pool our resources and talents to engage and benefit the next generation of young professionals,” said said Chancellor Rutgers-Camden. Antonio D.Tillis.