Wonderful news, published first on the Butler University website:

The Jerry L. And Barbara J. Burris Foundation has awarded Butler University a $30,000 grant, payable over three years, to support the Butler/IPS partnership.

Butler University’s MFA in Creative Writing program was awarded $15,000 of the grant to continue its year-old Writing in the Schools program with students at the Indianapolis Public Schools’ Shortridge Magnet High School for Law and Public Policy.

The Writing in the Schools portion of the grant will be used to support graduate assistants who conduct the program’s creative writing workshops, buy computer equipment, provide after-school snacks for Shortridge students who participate, and publish a book of the students’ writing.

“We published Exclusive Ink last year, a volume of student writing, and we certainly hope to expand that this year with this generous support,” said Butler English Department faculty member Susan Sutherlin, who supervises Writing in the Schools. “That was the first literary magazine at Shortridge since 1988. So I feel like Shortridge is back in business as a place that has a reputation for writing.”

Butler MFA students and undergraduates tutor 30-40 Shortridge students each Tuesday and Thursday afternoon, instructing them in prose and poetry and also help with homework when needed. Butler students worked with about 300 Shortridge students last year.

The Jerry L. And Barbara J. Burris Foundation was established in Indiana in 1994. The Foundation’s giving is based primarily in Indianapolis, Indiana with some giving in Naples, Florida with a focus on supporting youth services, human services, museums, and education.

To this we say, thank you so very, very much to the Burris Foundation. Your generosity will help us to continue developing the Writing In The Schools program in new and exciting ways.