The Community Teaching Project (CTP) creates opportunities for diverse residents of Oakland and surrounding communities to tell their stories, write poetry or prose, and experience their own creativity through unique workshops developed and facilitated by Mills students. This teaching opportunity for Mills English graduate students was launched in 2003 with the work of Anna Mantzaris, MFA '04, the support of Professor Elmaz Abinader, and a grant from the Irvine Foundation.
In the fall, Mills students enroll in a semester-long course that provides training in arts education pedagogy and familiarizes them with Bay Area culture. After proposing a workshop idea, Community Teaching Project instructors develop their own lesson plans with the guidance of experienced faculty and sensitivity to the specific needs of their students. During this semester, students build relationships with a community organization in hopes of partnering with them in the future.
Every spring, the community teachers volunteer at various venues, including after-school programs, elder homes, community centers, half-way houses, lock-down facilities, and battered-women’s shelters. As volunteers, instructors simultaneously gain teaching experience and contribute their skills and passion to underserved communities. During this semester, CTP instructors deliver their workshop and work closely with the CTP coordinator and site director. Students may complete two spring teaching semesters.
The teaching season culminates with a final reading and an anthology of writings generated in the various Community Teaching Project workshops.
If you are interested in taking a community workshop, or having a Mills graduate student volunteer teach at your organization, please contact Kiala Givehand, the CTP Coordinator, at 510.473.5602 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.