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June 17 , 2005
CONTACT: Carol Anderson

734.487.4400
carol.anderson@emich.edu

Unique EMU program gives senior citizens, high school journalists chance to share experiences

YPSILANTI - Childhood during the depression, World War II or the phenomenon of Elvis Presley are a few of the types of stories that senior citizens may relate to high school students during Eastern Michigan University’s Write-Link Community Connections program June 20-24.

“This is one of the first programs of its kind in the United States. It has a unique configuration of teaching four types of writing within a service context,” said Melissa Motschall, associate professor of English language and literature, and coordinator of the program.

The 17 Ypsilanti High School juniors and seniors chosen for this year’s program, which started three years ago, will have day-long classes on campus in journalism, public relations, creative writing and technical communication. They will then interview residents at the Ypsilanti Senior Center with discussions revolving around the theme “intergenerational communication.”

Following the face-to-face meeting with seniors, students will develop essays, biographies, feature articles, poems, Web-based communications and public relation materials based on the memories, experiences and opinions of the center’s residents.

The best writings will be published in a book that the students will design, compile, print and promote as a fundraiser for the senior center.

High school juniors and seniors in southeastern Michigan are selected based on applications reviewed by a panel of EMU faculty and outside professionals. The applicants must express an interest in writing and describe what they hope to do with a degree in one of the various writing fields. The program is free of charge.

The program is funded in part through a U.S. Department of Justice grant of EMU’s Center for Community Building and Engagement and the Institute for the Study of Children, Families and Communities. It also has received support from the EMU Foundation and local businesses  – The Heritage Newspapers and Creative Solution communication firm.

For more information, contact Motschall at melissa.motschall@emich.edu or call 734.487.0147.

Eastern Michigan University is a public, comprehensive university that offers programs in the arts, sciences and professions. EMU prepares students with the intellectual skills and practical experiences to succeed in their careers and lives, and to be better citizens.

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Eastern Michigan University is a public, comprehensive university that offers programs in the arts, sciences and professions. EMU prepares students with the intellectual skills and practical experiences to succeed in their career and lives, and to be better citizens.

Editor's Note: Looking for an expert source for a story? Check out EMU's Eastern Experts online at www.emich.edu/univcomm/easternexperts.


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