Although I’m not formally involved in CLP’s ACJ programming yet, I am teaching a creative writing class through Chatham there this summer, and one of my students is in the re-entry pod. This is a wonderful example of how the work at ACJ is rippling out beyond the re-entry pod.
I brought in a Margaret Atwood story for the class to read and discuss, and Blaze immediately began talking up Atwood’s work to the other story. I’m not sure if he participated in the book discussion, but he did read Handmaid’s Tale and was excited to tell his fellow students what a “crazy” book it was (crazy in a good way). He now wants to bring some of the extra copies from his pod down to class next week so guys on other pods can have copies to read and pass around. I’m hoping the COs will let him.
Clearly, this program is already working, and that’s so exciting to me as both a CLP employee and a volunteer teacher at the jail.