HPU Bonner Leaders and Local Children Showcase Poetry Created in Afterschool Programs

High Point University senior and Bonner Leader Douglas McCollum teaches poetry to a group of children.


HIGH POINT, N.C., Feb. 25, 2020 – Local schoolchildren from two Washington Street afterschool programs that partner with High Point University’s Bonner Leader program will share poetry during an event open to the public. The Poetry Project Showcase will be held at 6 p.m. on March 4 at Mt. Zion Baptist Church, located at 753 Washington Street, in the city of High Point.

At the showcase, children will perform original poetry written at Poetry Project workshops in partnership with the Community Writing Center and PNAC, an afterschool program held at D-Up, an area nonprofit aimed at teaching children to live healthy lifestyles. HPU senior Douglas McCollum, from the Poetry Project, coordinated the event. Katherine Malet, also from the Poetry Project, will perform along with the students.

“As a senior Bonner Leader at High Point University, I’ve worked with the Poetry Project since I attended high school at High Point Central,” says McCollum, a native of the city of High Point. “I’ve learned that we support our children on football fields, basketball courts and various tracks, and we give them support in getting good grades in class, but the importance of this workshop lies in the support of our youth and what they have to say. They are learning the importance of being heard through their writing, and it is imperative that we encourage that from them.”

A spoken word poet himself, McCollum has mentored and tutored children at the Community Writing Center as an HPU Bonner Leader. In 2018, he was a recipient of a Newman Civic Fellows award for his work in the community.

The Community Writing Center, a partnership between HPU and Mt. Zion, is an afterschool program that engages children in reading and writing projects. HPU Bonner Leaders and students from service learning classes work closely with the children through creative writing practices, interactive exercises and homework assistance. PNAC (Physical Activity, Nutrition, Academics, Character Development) is an afterschool recreational enrichment program for children on Washington Street also served by HPU students.

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