FAYETTE, Iowa (February 15, 2011) — Upper Iowa University has received three grants that make it possible to bring Erin Gruwell, president of the Freedom Writers Foundation, to speak on campus about strategies for working with students placed at-risk.
Gruwell is known through her book and a movie based on her experiences as the teacher at Wilson High School in Long Beach, Calif., who was assigned a classroom of students who had been deemed “unteachable.” Gruwell worked to turn the students around by helping them examine their lives, rethink their decisions and rechart their futures. The class kept journals that were published as The Freedom Writers Diary, which became the basis of a movie in 2007. Today, the Freedom Writers Foundation promotes acceptance and innovative teaching methods in classrooms across the country.
“We are very grateful for the funding that allows us to bring Ms. Gruwell to speak to our students and to the community,” said Billie Cowley, UIU instructor in education, who is coordinating the Freedom Writers event on campus in April. “She will not only inspire UIU students, but will be an inspiration to professional educators in our community, and, perhaps, encourage young people to consider teaching as a career.”
The Freedom Writers event has been made possible by a $20,000 grant from the Guernsey Foundation, Waterloo; a $2,500 grant from the Fayette Community Foundation; and a $2,500 grant from the Principal Foundation, Des Moines.”
Gruwell will speak at 7 p.m. Thursday, April 28, in the Student Center at Upper Iowa University.
Monica Bayer Heaton
Executive Director of Communications and Marketing
About Upper Iowa University
Founded in 1857, Upper Iowa University is a private, not-for-profit university providing undergraduate and graduate degree programs and leadership development opportunities to over 6,600 students—nationally and internationally—at its Fayette campus and learning centers worldwide. Upper Iowa University is a recognized innovator in offering accredited, quality programs through flexible, multiple delivery systems, including online and independent study. For more information, visit www.uiu.edu.