HIGH POINT, N.C., March 6, 2020 – High Point University’s Bonner Leader program partnered with two Washington Street afterschool programs to share poetry from local school children.

ABOVE PHOTO – Doug McCollum, High Point University Bonner Leader and poet, welcomed the loved ones of the students participating in the Poetry Project, a partnership with PNAC after-school programs and HPU’s Community Writing Center.

The event was open to the public and gave children a chance to perform original poetry written at Poetry Project workshops in partnership with the Community Writing Center and PNAC, an afterschool program. Douglas McCollum, HPU senior and Bonner Leader, coordinated the event.

“The poetry project is important to me because of voice,” said McCollum. “I think a lot of these kids have things to say that they don’t necessarily get to say otherwise. It’s good to get to support them in their community, for them to tell their stories, and I have hope in them.”

McCollum also speaks highly of the Bonner Program and what it has provided him as a First Generation Scholar and HPU Bonner Leader for the past four years.

“The Bonner Program has helped me tremendously in becoming acclimated to High Point University,” said McCollum. “It’s a program that allows individuals to discover who they are and what they can do.”

The event hosted full pews of children with their parents, grandparents, siblings and other loved ones that filled Mt. Zion Baptist Church. The topic for this year was “Walk a Mile in My Shoes.” As children stood up to recite their poetry, their family members showed their support by cheering for them.

“Poetry Project teaches us how to present famous poems and write our own poetry,” said Danaisa Harrington, an elementary student and active participant with D-Up, an area nonprofit, and PNAC after-school programs. “It makes a safe place and environment for us. We always have fun and practice our poems every time we meet.”

Harrington and her four friends recited “Phenomenal Woman” by Maya Angelou.

The Community Writing Center, a partnership between HPU and Mt. Zion, is an afterschool program that engages children in reading and writing projects. HPU Bonner Leaders and students from service learning classes work closely with the children through creative writing practices, interactive exercises and homework assistance. PNAC (Physical Activity, Nutrition, Academics, and Character Development) is an afterschool recreational enrichment program for children on Washington Street also served by HPU students and held at D-Up.

 At High Point University, every student receives an extraordinary education in an inspiring environment with caring people.® HPU, located in the Piedmont Triad region of North Carolina, is a liberal arts institution with 5,400 undergraduate and graduate students. It is ranked No. 1 by U.S. News and World Report for Best Regional Colleges in the South, No. 1 for Most Innovative Regional Colleges in the South and No. 1 for Best Undergraduate Teaching in the South. The Princeton Review named HPU in the 2020 edition of “The Best 385 Colleges” and on the Best Southeastern Colleges “2020 Best Colleges: Region by Region” list. HPU was recognized as a Great School for Business Majors and a Great School for Communication Majors. HPU was also recognized for Most Beautiful Campus (No. 18), Best College Dorms (No. 5) and Best Campus Food (No. 20). For nine years in a row, HPU has been named a College of Distinction with special recognition for business and education programs and career development, and The National Council on Teacher Quality ranks HPU’s elementary education program as one of the best in the nation. The university offers 60 undergraduate majors, 64 undergraduate minors and 13 graduate degree programs. It is a member of the NCAA, Division I and the Big South Conference. Visit High Point University on the web at highpoint.edu.

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