Meet Our Community Partners: Gwen Heatley

The CYC is fortunate to offer our programs to students all around the city of Grand Rapids; however, we would not be able to reach those kids without the help of our community partners, like Gwen Heatley who helps us run Media Team out of Harrison Park School. For three years, Gwen has been the Career/College Pathways Coordinator for the Challenge Scholars program.  She brings wisdom and light to the kids’, all while having fun. Read on to see what Gwen has to say about education and adventure.

What’s your favorite thing about working at Harrison Park?

Our families. We have amazing families that have taught their children the value of hard work, respect, and to appreciate educational opportunities, so these children come to us with a foundation that makes them eager and receptive to learning. Many of our parents are working two or three jobs, and making personal sacrifices, to make these opportunities available to their children. I honor that.

If you could meet anyone, dead or alive, who would it be?

Princess DianaWe had children at the same age, at the same time, and I would often wonder how our lives were different or the same. I know she had dreams of making the world a better place for her kids, just like I did. I think, in some ways, she fought a harder battle to realize those dreams than I had to. Meeting her would help me appreciate my own perspective, and experiences, as far as making the world a better place for children. 

What’s your definitions of “adventure”?

Being free of fear. I tell our students that it takes a lot of courage to try something new. Most of us operate from a fear base: Fear of being embarrassed, fear of making a fool of ourselves, fear of getting in trouble, etc. “Adventure” is setting aside that fear and opening yourself up to the possibilities. For some people, that means standing in front of a room and talking, for others it’s climbing a mountain. It’s whatever means to that person, but it’s an opportunity to push the limits. 

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Thank you, Gwen, for all the amazing things you do for Harrison Park–and the kids in Media Team!

 

 

 

 

2014-2015 Volunteer Opportunities

A new school year brings new programs at the CYC. If you have a love for working with kids and silliness, consider joining our Volunteer Crew! Read on for more information about the opportunities we have to offer. When you find a program that strikes your fancy, email Meghan McAfee, Program Director, at meghan@creativeyouthcenter.org.

 

Afterschool Adventure

Afterschool Adventure helps 3rd-6th grade students build confidence and creativity through writing, reading, and engaging with peers.

  • Monday-Thursday, 4-6m
  • Runs at the Creative Youth Center
  • Flexible weekly time commitment
  • Volunteers provide general support to the program manager

 

Thrive Tutoring

Trained volunteer tutors work with middle and high school students on any academic subject, in a one-on-one setting.

  • Tuesdays and Wednesdays, 6-7:30pm
  • Tuesdays at Baxter Community Center, Wednesdays at the Creative Youth Center
  • Volunteers must be able to commit to either Tuesdays or Wednesdays for the entire school year.
  • Volunteers are assigned a student to tutor for the year. Can tutor in any academic subject (especially upper-level math and science)

 

Writing Workshops

The Creative Youth Center runs weekly, off-site creative writing workshops in collaboration with community partners. Examples include Congress Elementary, Alger Middle School, Harrison Park School, and the Hispanic Center of Western Michigan. Workshop times and days vary, depending on the start date of each partner’s individual program. Generally:

  • Monday-Friday, 3:30-5pm
  • Location specific
  • Very flexible weekly time commitment
  • Volunteers provide general creative writing support to the students and the workshop leader.

 

Press Club

Middle school Press Club writers become published journalists, in collaboration with the Cook Arts Center. The student writers attend field trips around Grand Rapids, write about their experiences, and share the articles on The Rapidian. Press Club field trips are announced as they are planned. Generally:

  • Field trips, Saturdays; writing session the following Tuesday
  • Writing session runs at the Cooks Arts Center
  • Very flexible time commitment. Preferably, volunteers attend both the field trip and writing session.
  • Volunteers help chaperone events, and encourage students to gather the appropriate information to write their articles.

 

Afterschool Adventure1

 

We’re hiring!

Attention, Adventurers!

The CYC is looking for a dedicated, fun-loving individual to fill our open Program Manager position. The Program Manager is tasked with guiding our youngest explorers through the academic year in our creative writing and tutoring afterschool programs. If you’d like to learn more, then read on.

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The Creative Youth Center (CYC) prepares kids for life’s adventures by supporting their writing and amplifying their voices. Through our creative writing and tutoring programs, we help kids build the skills necessary for future success. We’re looking for a part-time Program Manager to help with a number of activities, such as planning and coordinating afterschool programs, recruiting students and volunteers, engaging students and families, and performing administrative tasks. This position works closely with the Program Director to ensure the CYC’s overall mission and values are being fulfilled.

Position: Program Manager for the Creative Youth Center’s afterschool programs
Hours: Part-time, 25 hours/week
Compensation: $11/hour
Reports to: Program Director

Key Responsibilities

 Primary responsibilities include:

  • Planning and coordinating afterschool programs at the CYC, primarily Afterschool Adventure (3rd-6th grade) and one evening of Thrive Tutoring (6th-12th grade)
  • Utilizing service learning opportunities as a way to build and support the CYC student culture
  • Supervising students in the program, promoting safety and respect among all participants
  • Creating an inspiring and supportive classroom atmosphere while also focusing on behavior management
  • Directing and communicating with the CYC’s dynamic volunteer corps
  • Maintaining accurate attendance records
  • Assisting the Program Director with program evaluation
  • Connecting with parents regarding registration, scheduling, and student progress
  • Attending weekly staff meetings and meeting all deadlines
  • Representing the CYC at community events as availability allows
  • Other duties as assigned by Program Director

Required Skills and Qualifications

  • Bachelors degree (preference for social work or education)
  • Experience working with kids ages 6 to 18
  • Knowledge of service learning or a willingness to learn
  • Passionate about promoting expression through creative writing
  • Knowledge of Grand Rapids neighborhoods
  • An excellent command of the English language, both written and verbal
  • Can-do attitude—a positive disposition and a sense of humor a must
  • Ability to work as a team member in a dynamic, creative environment
  • Proficiency with Microsoft Office, Google Drive, and Dropbox
  • Current First Aid and CPR certification or the ability to become certified
  • Background check required

Interested candidates should send a resume and cover letter to Meghan McAfee, Program Director, at meghan@creativeyouthcenter.org by September 2, 2014.

Zyair and Katie

 

Fall 2014 Internship Opportunities

 

2013-12-09 17.18.17 HDR

 

We are looking for some great interns to work during the fall 2014. Check out the available positions below.

Program Interns

As a Program Intern you will be a vital part of the Creative Youth Center. The Grand Rapids Creative Youth Center is a nonprofit writing and tutoring center in Grand Rapids, MI that prepares kids for life’s adventures by supporting their writing and amplifying their voices. This position will ideally assist in both our afterschool programs, Afterschool Adventure, and Thrive Tutoring. Afterschool Adventure serves students in a classroom setting, while Thrive pairs students one-on-one with a trained tutor. As an intern, you’ll gain valuable experience in program management and administration, lesson planning, and tutoring students.

We are looking for two interns to work a minimum of 10 hours a week each, during the Fall 2014 semester. Candidates must be available at least two days a week, Monday-Thursday, 3-5:30pm. This is an unpaid position, but can be done for college credit. Other benefits include:

  • Hands on experience in program management
  • Having a ton of fun
  • Working at Captain H. Tanny’s Adventure Trade and Supply Store
  • Building relationships with really awesome kids

Necessary Qualifications:

  • Must be a self-starter, comfortable with a great degree of independence
  • Ability to adapt quickly and thrive in a role with constant changes
  • Experience and interest in working with kids ages 6 to 18
  • Excellent verbal and written communication skills
  • Editing/proofreading skills
  • Proficiency with Microsoft Office, Google Drive, and Dropbox
  • Creative problem solver

To apply, please send a cover letter and resume to Lori Slager, Executive Director, at lorena.slager@creativeyouthcenter.org by September 19, 2014.

Publishing Intern

As a Publishing Intern you will be a vital part of the Creative Youth Center. The Grand Rapids Creative Youth Center is a nonprofit writing and tutoring center in Grand Rapids, MI that prepares kids for life’s adventures by supporting their writing and amplifying their voices. As an intern, you’ll gain valuable experience in editing and publishing as well as working with kids.

We are looking for an intern to work a minimum of 10 hours a week during the Fall 2014 semester to help with editing, typing, and publishing student work. This is an unpaid position, but can be done for college credit. Other benefits include:

  • Hands on experience in editing, publishing, and nonprofit administration
  • Having a ton of fun
  • Working at Captain H. Tanny’s Adventure Trade and Supply Store
  • Building relationships with really awesome kids

Necessary Qualifications:

  • Strong editing/proofreading skills
  • Comfortable writing and editing in a child or teen’s voice and diction
  • Must be a self-starter, comfortable with a great degree of independence
  • Ability to adapt quickly and thrive in a role with constant changes
  • Experience and interest in working with kids ages 6 to 18
  • Excellent verbal and written communication skills
  • Proficiency with Microsoft Office, Google Drive, and Dropbox
  • Creative problem solver

To apply, please send a cover letter and resume to Lori Slager, Executive Director, at lorena.slager@creativeyouthcenter.org by September 19, 2014.

Nonprofit Management Intern

As the Nonprofit Management Intern you will be a vital part of the Creative Youth Center. The Grand Rapids Creative Youth Center prepares kids for life’s adventures by supporting their writing and amplifying their voices. Through our creative writing and tutoring programs, we help kids build the skills necessary for future success. At the CYC, kids become published authors, leading to a strong sense of identity and an enthusiasm for learning. As a CYC intern, you’ll gain valuable experience in grant writing, fundraising, nonprofit administration, event planning, and writing/editing.

We are looking for an intern to work a minimum of 10 hours a week during the Fall 2014 semester. This is an unpaid position, but can be done for college credit. Other benefits include:

  • Hands on experience in most aspects of nonprofit management
  • Having a ton of fun
  • Working at Captain H. Tanny’s Adventure Trade and Supply Store

Necessary Qualifications:

  • Must be a self-starter, comfortable with a great degree of independence
  • Ability to adapt quickly and thrive in a role with constant changes
  • Interest in working with kids ages 6 to 18
  • Excellent verbal and written communication skills
  • Editing/proofreading skills
  • Proficiency with Microsoft Office, Google Drive, and Dropbox
  • Creative problem solver

To apply, please send a cover letter and resume to Lori Slager, Executive Director, at lorena.slager@creativeyouthcenter.org by September 19, 2014.