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Grant funded by the National Writing Project as part of the National Endowment for the Humanities’ American Rescue Plan: Humanities Grantmaking program.
TUCSON, AZ April 15, 2022 — Worlds of Words, housed in the University of Arizona College of Education, in partnership with the Southern Arizona Writing Project, announces the awarding of a grant through the National Writing Project’s “Building a More Perfect Union”, a grant program for humanities organizations across the United States to assist in recovering from interruptions to operations due to the coronavirus pandemic. As part of the American Rescue Plan: Humanities Grantmaking for Organizations at the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH), the Building a More Perfect Union program funds organizations to develop programming in anticipation of the upcoming 250th anniversary of the founding of the United States.
The grant will use American Rescue Plan funding to relaunch Salas de Libros (“living room of books” in Spanish, called Salas for short), an innovative literacy program that had just begun when the pandemic originally forced global shutdowns in 2020. These Salas will bring together children, youth, and elders from many different communities across southern Arizona to explore cultural identity and community through immersion in reading and discussion of books for people of all ages. Each Sala will focus on a different aspect of the diverse communities who call the Southwest their home and celebrate reading to promote engaged citizenship. Through participation in various Salas, readers of all ages will gain an understanding of the diverse people who shaped the history of our nation—histories that are often left out from mainstream narratives of US history.
The funds awarded by NEH will be used to train 25-30 community members as facilitators of the Salas workshops, creating intergenerational opportunities for children and community elders to learn together. Worlds of Words expects to host 10 Salas as part of this initiative.
"We are excited to bring the Salas de libros program to Tucson from Mexico and we are deeply committed to bringing together a diverse, intergenerational groups of people to promote literacy to engage in the transformative potential of children's literature,” says Carol Brochin, Director of the Southern Arizona Writing Project together with professors Leah Duran and Kathy Short.
“The National Endowment for the Humanities is grateful to the National Writing Project for administering American Rescue Plan funding to help local and regional humanities organizations recover from the pandemic,” said NEH Chair Shelly C. Lowe (Navajo). “These ARP awards will allow archives, libraries, museums, historic sites, and other institutions around the country to restore and expand public programs that preserve and share the stories of the communities they serve.”
About National Writing Project:
Through its mission, the National Writing Project (NWP) focuses the knowledge, expertise, and leadership of our nation's educators on sustained efforts to help youth become successful writers and learners. NWP supports a network of local Writing Project sites, located on over 170 university and college campuses, to provide high-quality professional development in schools, universities, libraries, museums, and after-school programs. Through its many successful programs and partnerships, the organization reaches 6 million Pre-K through college-age students in over 2,000 school districts annually and prepares 2,500 new teacher-leaders each year. NWP envisions a future where every person is an accomplished writer, engaged learner, and active participant in a digital, interconnected world.
About the National Endowment for the Humanities:
Created in 1965 as an independent federal agency, the National Endowment for the Humanities supports research and learning in history, literature, philosophy, and other areas of the humanities by funding selected, peer-reviewed proposals from around the nation. Additional information about the National Endowment for the Humanities and its grant programs is available at neh.gov.