For Immediate Release
Date: November 23, 2015
Savannah’s Deep Center will be recognized at Tuesday’s City Council meeting for receiving the 2015 National Arts and Humanities Youth Program Award for its Young Author Project. Last week representatives from Deep Center, including program participant 14 year old Andre Massey, Jr., made an appearance before First Lady Michelle Obama at a ceremony for award recipients.
Deep Center’s Young Author Project connects students in 14 of Savannah’s public middle schools with a thriving community of writing mentors—local authors, poets, and journalists—to help them share their stories. Each semester, more than 140 students participate in the Young Author Project, culminating in a public reading of selected student works, known as Deep Speaks, as well as publication of their poetry and prose. Since its inception in 2008, nearly 2,500 young people have participated in the Young Author Project as a way to address the detrimental effects of poverty on literacy in Savannah and to challenge young people to engage with their stories through creative writing.
The National Arts and Humanities Youth Program Award recognizes the country’s best creative youth development programs for increasing academic achievement, graduation rates and college enrollment by engaging children and youth in the arts and humanities. The awardees—chosen from a pool of more than 350 nominations and 50 finalists—were also recognized for improving literacy and language abilities, communication and performance skills, and cultural awareness. Deep Center will receive $10,000 to support its programming, which provides free writing workshops for public school students in Savannah-Chatham County public schools.
DEEP center is partner agency with the City of Savannah Department of Cultural Affairs. The Cultural Affairs Commission and the Savannah City Council recognize that the investment in Deep Center forwards Savannah's goal of placing innovative, creative programs as a strategy for positive youth development. To learn more about Deep Center, visit www.deepkids.com.