In a previous article I mentioned that at our Easter lunch we went around the table and talked about acts of kindness that inspire us. For me, that comes from Susan Sutherlin.
A professor at Butler, she organizes a group of MFA and undergraduate student volunteers to visit a local high school and teach poetry and fiction writing. Susan works with such vigor every single day that the program has grown rapidly in its two short years of existence, oftentimes acting more than a simple after-school program. Through various grants food is provided for the kids (an essential, since I remember being a teenager and the constant hunger that dogged me).
More importantly, the program is more than improving reading or writing skills. It’s about the growth of the students, in their ability to express themselves and their confidence. Just see for yourself:
And it’s not a one way street. I’m astounded every time I volunteer by the passion these kids exhibit that I feel compelled to bring myself up to their level. It’s been one of my most rewarding experiences of my time at Butler. But really, just check these poets out!