Adventures with TRiO


The Creative Youth Center is proud to say that June has proven to be our busiest month yet! With our weekly tutoring sessions, our famous Press Club getting to interview award-winning poet Hope Anita Smith, and our opportunity to work with Grand Valley State University’s TRiO program, we’ve barely had time to catch our breath!

Not to worry though. We love a good adventure, and lucky for us, so did our group of TRiO kids. GVSU’s TRiO program is a summer camp for college-bound, high school students to get an idea of what college life is like. The CYC was called in to work on writing skills and turn these talented writers into published authors!

We began the week by inviting none other than local comic hero, Matt Reidsma, to help the kids learn how to draw a proper comic. The kids had no problem coming up with interesting stories from their lives to put on paper. Matt showed them the basics and hilarity ensued (click to enlarge):

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

With comics being such a tough act to follow, we didn’t hesitate to call in the big guns, er,  poets. It wasn’t difficult to gain interest with videos of poets Sarah Kay and Sekou Andrews. Not surprisingly, our TRiO group were great at organizing their own thoughts and opinions into poetry:

…..a light in the sky
by Tu Le

It’s just the sun. It burns bright and filled with life
Just like how your eyes are to me when I see them.
Filled with hopes and dreams, but later rusted away.
Time has rusted and corroded them into a shadow.
The darkness in your eyes grows as I get closer.
Oh how dark they were, full of pain and sadness.
Pain never falls from the sky. Darkness rules over above,
in the clouds they form. With lightning and thunder but no rain.
Like a desert you’ve become. Now are you like the sand.
So light and frail to be blown away by the wind.
But worry not, I am the ocean. I will keep you at bay with my tides.
I will collect you and make you whole and let yourself mold.
Mold back into the person you were. To form back with the eyes,
yellow and bright as the sun. Let the sun be your heart.
And I will be the sky and forever caress the sun.

 

Who says kids have to stay quiet while writing? Jeremy Verwys from Triumph Music Academy certainly altered the TRiO kids’ expectations of writing in his songwriting class. The whole group worked together to pen a catchy little love song. Look out Rebecca Black!

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The creativity just kept on coming on day 4 with TRiO. Putting a bit of a spin on ordinary storywriting, the students wrote screenplay summaries for their own films. Although they got to choose their own genres, Rom Coms quickly became a common theme with this crowd. We laughed, we cried, we forgot we were learning how to write! Here’s a sneak peak (click to expand):

Day 5 was our last day celebration. We left GVSU’s campus and visited The Sparrows Coffee and Grand Rapids Made Studios. The kids all received CDs of the song they wrote and created clever little headphone holders with Troy from Grand Rapids Made. All in all, we had a fabulous week and hope we get to work with this group again!