Internship Interview: Nicholas Brown
Sweet: A Literary Confection’s Outreach Division
This spring I interned with Sweet: A Literary Confection’s Outreach Division to create a unique creative writing program that targeted at-risk middle school students in an online format. Before the MFA program, I worked as a middle school Language Arts teacher and saw first-hand the integral importance of literacy, story, and creativity in closing the education gap, but also the devaluation of these fundamental skills in the current education climate. The result of this test-taking era is a generation that too often loathes reading and writing, seeing it as an obstacle to be overcome rather than skills that create freedom and community. Skills such as critical thinking, literacy in increasingly different contexts, and creative problem solving. These skills that are becoming more important in the future. I reached out to an afterschool program in Georgia to create an online creative writing curriculum through an official online learning platform. I also found that my passion to impart my love of creativity on a new generation of writers was also felt by others in my MFA cohort. I worked in concert with Sweet Lit and education personnel to create, fund, and maintain a structure and methodology for an online course that allowed other MFA students to add their unique knowledge of their specialty within a student-friendly curriculum. Through this, the students had access to courses on photography, comics, poetry, micro-fiction, and micro memoir. The students were exposed to ideas and concepts of craft within the context of creating unique work along the theme of risk, using critical pedagogically relevant methods and models and well as personal feedback from current MFA students.