Our August 2017 Volunteer of the Month, Maggie McGuire, began volunteering in our Detroit programs this past school year and we are so thrilled she has joined our crew. We fell in love with Maggie immediately and the more we find out about her, the deeper we fall. She is a relatively new volunteer, but her level of passion and engagement has made her shine from the start!
Maggie jumped into helping with our Poetic Outlaws in-school project at Clippert Elementary. For this project, students learned some of the “rules” of poetry and then learned how to intentionally break those rules—and why they might want to—in writing their own poems. This project led to the stand-out chapbook And Now I Am Doing a Poem released this spring.
To our surprise and delight, Maggie happened to already know our fabulous partner teacher for the project, Emma Howland-Bolton. Ms. Howland-Bowland’s class calls themselves the “Cool Ducks” and Maggie got right on board with using the class’s favorite hand sign, the shaka—you know, the hang loose sign that surfers use? Yeah, we told you these students are cool ducks. Maggie was also one of our awesome facilitators during their class field trip to the Detroit Robot Factory. The students came for a Choose Your Own Adventure field trip where they were able to co-create their own second-person, present tense, reader-guided, nail-biting thriller. Maggie was a big help in typing the student writing from both the in-school project and the field trip, allowing us to get both publications to the students before the end of the school year.
We had a feeling this was not the first time Maggie had worked with youth and we found out that Maggie is a teaching artist at Living Arts and Matrix Theatre Company. It is clear that she has a lot of experience working with young people and knows how to cultivate creativity and confidence by building a real connection with students, which is exactly our aim here at 826michigan.
Maggie, we are so grateful to you for bringing your energetic spirit and authentic engagement to our programs and we are so looking forward to all our collaborations with future programs! You are certainly one cool duck.