Arkansas WITS is made possible through a partnership with the University of Arkansas Graduate School and also in part by the schools and institutions we visit, and by the generous support of private donors.
Since its inception in 1973, WITS has conducted a total of 1920 2-day workshops, visiting 746 unique schools & institutions in 264 towns & cities across the state of Arkansas. WITS works with students and teachers from diverse backgrounds and makes a concerted effort to reach underfunded school districts in under-served parts of the state where the majority of students come from low-income families and are considered “at risk” for dropping out of school.
Many of the students we work with have little familiarity with poetry and the arts when we first arrive. But WITS is not just about celebrating the arts; our program is designed to foster and emphasize attention to language, experimentation, associative thinking, risk taking, and creative problem solving. The recognition and development of these skills will build a generation of leaders, inventors, and problem-solvers, which is especially important when we’re moving into an economy in which ideas and language carry the most capital value.
Classroom teachers have noted the following effects from a WITS visit: WITS elicits enthusiasm and participation from students who are normally withdrawn, disinterested, or have serious learning disabilities; the act of (and remembrance of) sharing poems contributes positively to a respectful class dynamic; WITS workshops open a door for students–they feel both equipped and empowered to use language differently and write with a greater sense of authority; students who are “at risk” express interest in higher education and enrichment opportunities; WITS inspires students to connect with their course studies and changes “have to” into “want to.” During the 2015 – 2016 school year alone, WITS visited 35 schools and served approximately 4500 Arkansan students, ranging from grade 3 to grade 12.
$100 can impact 100 students, but a contribution of any amount helps make our creative writing programs for Arkansas students possible. Because of your generosity, WITS can continue its 40+ year legacy of serving schools and institutions all over the state of Arkansas. Your donation helps offset travel expenses and makes it possible for us to continue serving underfunded school districts.
You may be able to double or triple the number of students you help. Ask your company if they have a matching grant program and let us know when you make your gift.
If you’d like to support WITS, please make checks payable to Writers in the Schools and mail to:
Writers in the Schools
Attn: Elizabeth DeMeo
University of Arkansas
333 Kimpel Hall
Fayetteville, AR 72701
We are sincerely grateful for your support.
For more information, please don’t hesitate to contact our program director via email.