Dear teachers and counselors,
I’m writing to tell you about an exciting opportunity we’ve planned for young adults this summer and to ask for your support. “We’ve Got Something to Say About It”, is a free writers’ workshop being held at The Avon Lake United Church of Christ July 5-6. I’d like to share a recent experience.
I attended a convocation at Finney Chapel on Oberlin campus on April 11. The guests were David and Nic Sheff, father and son, who are the inspiration behind the 2018 film, Beautiful Boy. The film is a harrowing recount of David and Nic’s 10-year journey through Nic’s drug addiction. Nic’s addiction nearly killed him several times and drove a wedge between a once solid bond between father and son. David and Nic are touring the country in order to continue the conversation about addiction, particularly in light of the opioid crisis that takes 300 lives every day and has devastated Ohio.
Something Nic said piqued my attention. He told all of us there about a question that posed to both teenagers and their parents....”Why do teenagers use alcohol and drugs?” The greater majority of parents answered, “Because they want to have fun”. The teenagers answered, “stress”.
Stress is what’s ailing children and young adults in our community. In conversations with pastor, Kelly Brill and Nate Taylor, Director of Youth Ministry at ALUCC, this has been verified. School, packed schedules and aspects of social media are proving detrimental to our youth. We’d like to offer some relief with “We’ve Got Something to Say About It”, a free two-day writers’ workshop for 15-20 students.
We will draw from Nashville’s Country Music Hall of Fame’s program, “Words and Music". Students from area schools are taught to write song lyrics. Those lyrics are then refined, put to music and presented to students who gather at the Taylor Swift Education area of the CMHF. How blessed those students are to be receiving an opportunity to create music. Boys and girls who might otherwise never be heard, walk to the front of the class while we all listen to their thoughts and feelings expressed in song. It’s nothing less than a miraculous release. This is the form we will follow the July 5&6 weekend. By the end of the workshop each student will have a completed work of writing, whether song or prose. On the evening of July 6th, some of that writing will be shared in a performance inside the ALUCC sanctuary.
I’m reaching out to you to ask for your help in finding students to attend. If you recognize a student that seems particularly drawn to writing of any kind, a student who comes alive when given the opportunity to express themselves in prose or otherwise, will you share this 2-day workshop and encourage them to attend? There is a flyer attached with all the details with a registration link.
I will be there to teach songwriting, award winning author, Frye Gaillard will teach prose and Kelly Brill will offer an optional workshop entitled,“Writing as Spiritual Practice”. We look forward to the opportunity to share, create and express in a unique, healing and life-affirming way.
I am grateful for your support,
Anne E. DeChant