For the last three months, LUPE members taking English and Citizenship classes in Alton have had the opportunity to develop their creative writing skills every Monday and Wednesday after their normal classes. This month their efforts were honored with a graduation ceremony and certificate of completion of the class.
Students from the University of Texas at Pan American gave instruction to members on how to use poetry and narrative to write about life experiences, their experience crossing the border and their ideas of social justice.
Though many in the immigrant community have not finished their formal education, they still have the creativity and experiences that make for powerful literature. And through their classes with UTPA students, members demonstrated their ability to learn forms and technique in creative writing to express that creativity and those experiences.
The UTPA students, working with MaryRuth Chen and the Mexican American Studies Program, plan to continue the creative writing class at the Alton office during the summer months.