English Department Outreach Programs

December 9, 2016

During the Fall 2016 semester, the English Department hosted programs for students from Northwood High School and High Point school. Continue reading to learn more about the programs.

On Wednesday, November 19th, the English Department hosted students from Northwood High School, a local Montgomery County school. The students, all enrolled in AP Literature classes, came to explore university culture and participate in a series of writing-related workshops. As students arrived, Karen Nelson directed Northwood students and teachers to Tawes Hall, where they received inspiring welcoming remarks from Christina Walter before beginning their program. Throughout the day students moved between workshops developed by faculty and graduate students that focused on strategies to approach, reflect upon, and better understand the students’ own writing. Some of the workshops included: “Language, Culture, Identity,” “Analyzing Multimedia Texts via the Rhetorical Triangle,” “Selecting Topics Appropriate for Academic Writing,” “Thesis Statements,” and “Audience and Purpose and Syntax/Sentence Writing.” The instructor(s) of each workshop engaged Northwood students with activities, group breakouts, and discussions unique to their topic, inciting insightful and creative questions. The English Department previously partnered with Northwood High School’s AP Literature classes in 2010 for a similar visit, coordinated by Emeritus Professor Sandy Mack. Following a six year gap, Jessica Enoch & Michael Israel began to ask, "What's happening with that high school?" and without their persistence, the most recent Northwood visit probably would not have happened.

The English Department hosted a second outreach effort for students from High Point High School of Prince George’s County. The students, also enrolled in AP Literature, arrived ready to dive into and discuss Shakespeare’s Hamlet. The day followed a similar pattern to the Northwood visit, with breakout sessions dedicated to topics developed by English Department faculty. Some of the topics of discussion included, “Hamlet: You, Me, All of us,” “Shakespeare’s Language,” and “Hamlet on Film.” This Hamlet extravaganza coincides nicely with the 400 Years of Shakespeare, as 2016 marked the 400th anniversary of his death.

Both successful events are encouraging as we look forward to think about different ways to connect with local high schools. You can see pictures of the Northwood Visit by clicking here and of the High Point visit by clicking here.