College Hosts Summer Literacy Program for Local High School Students

From July 5 through July 8, 19 Bronx high school students participated in the third Summer Literacy Institute program on Manhattan College’s campus.

From July 5 through July 8, 19 Bronx high school students participated in the third Summer Literacy Institute program on Manhattan College’s campus. Partnering with the Kingsbridge Heights Community Center College Directions Program with funding provided by the Teagle Foundation, the Institute offers students the opportunity to come to campus to live in the dorms, take three courses in philosophy, religious studies and biology with College professors, spend approximately 20 hours in a writing group to complete a polished college application personal statement, and learn more about the College admissions and financial aid processes, and the Higher Education Opportunity Program (HEOP).

“The entire program, from essay writing, to classes, to hanging out in the dorms, motivates the students to work hard their senior year to attend the college of their choice,” said Jose Chavarry ’12, a student mentor and history major. “For us, the student mentors and writing coaches, it is an invaluable opportunity to see these students develop their ideas, and to share their enthusiasm.”

In addition to working with a writing coach and student mentor in the writing group, students attended a writing workshop led by Paul Hendrickson, National Book Award winner (for his book Sons of Mississippi) and former Washington Post reporter. Dr. John Rodriquez, a Bronx poet, also provided a poetry reading and discussion for the students.

“The Summer Literacy Institute is a concentrated college-immersion experience with the ultimate goal of getting students to realize they are capable of completing the work needed to succeed in college,” said Daniel Collins, Ph.D., director of the Center for Excellence in Learning and Teaching (CELT) and associate professor of English. “If we can do that, they will finish their senior year of high school more likely to go to college and be better prepared for college, and in some cases, be the first person in their family to attend college.”