TURN THE PAGE LITERACY INITIATIVE

ABOUT THE PROGRAM

Turn the Page offers reading, creative writing and journaling opportunities for incarcerated or displaced men and women at the Hamilton Co. Jail and the Silverdale Detention facility. Several transitional housing organizations in the area also have groups including Love's Arms, a home or women who have experienced sexual trafficking, and Mocassin Bend Mental Hospital.. The groups are led by facilitators who hold master's degrees in English or Creative Writing.

Facilitator, Andreana Lefton wrote a creative short essay on her experience with working in Hamilton Co. Jail and the impact on participants.  The essay was published in Catalpa Magazine in 2020.  Read the piece here.

 

MISSION STATEMENT

Crafted by Turn the Page participants.

In these groups, we read, write, talk, and listen. We speak, but we don’t interrupt. We offer comfort but not judgment. We learn about reading and comprehension strategies, authors’ pasts, literary movements, ways in which history interacts with literature, and common literary techniques to prepare us for complicated reasoning and advanced learning in future endeavors.

 

We take the time to think about the things we have done in our lives and reflect on the things we are going to do in the future, but we realize that it is not up to us to evaluate each other’s pasts or put others down. We come to know how others in our group feel and think, and by doing that, we’re able to understand each other better.

 

We exercise our minds by discussing various aspects of life on the outside and life on the inside and relate our experiences to the things we read. We discuss things that people in the free world should know about jail and prison, and we use what we read to make ourselves more compassionate, more thoughtful, and more prepared for the challenges of the world, and in doing so, we become closer as a group.

BECOME INVOLVED

Turn the Page is a rapidly growing program in the Hamilton County area and has potential to expand into new facilities as we train new facilitators. We are seeking dedicated, passionate individuals to become Turn the Page Facilitators. Facilitators undergo a multi-faceted training process before they can lead sessions at the facility. 

 

QUALIFICATIONS:

  • Experience teaching adults and/or experience working with incarcerated learners

  • Background in English, social work, psychology, etc

  • Masters or Ph.D. preferred (but not necessarily required)

 

TRAINING PROCESS:

  • New Facilitator Training with Turn the Page

  • Volunteer Training at Hamilton County Jail or Silverdale Correctional Facility

  • Debriefing Session

For further information, please contact Victoria Bryan (victoria.m.bryan@gmail.com)

 

FACILITATORS

Dr. Victoria Bryan

Lead Facilitator

Victoria Bryan is an assistant professor of English at Cleveland State Community College in Cleveland, TN. She has been teaching in jails and prisons since 2013, and she believes this kind of instruction to be the most necessary, challenging, and rewarding work she does. Her book, A Wall Rise Up: Prestige Television in the Age of Mass Incarceration, is under contract with Routledge Press.

Adrienne Kaufman

Facilitator

Adrienne Kaufmann is a teacher and writer. She has taught English at both the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga and Chattanooga State Community College, and she writes literature and composition curriculum for various education companies. Adrienne is passionate about using her qualifications and experience to seek justice in her community. This led her to Turn the Page, where she has been teaching since 2019.

Andréana Lefton

Facilitator

Andréana Lefton is a writer, traveler, and teaching artist. She has lived across the U.S., and in the U.K, Europe and Middle East, meeting amazing people and working toward human connection, education, and creativity. She designs and facilitates workshops that blend reflective practices, poetry and the quest for justice. She began teaching with Turn the Page in 2018 and is excited to help the program grow and reach new students.

Kris Whorton

Facilitator

Kris Whorton is an English Lecturer at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga. A desire to be useful in her community brought her to Hamilton County Jail where she has been teaching inmates Creative Writing since 2018. 

Haven Wright

Facilitator

Haven Wright is a Psychology Major finishing up her final semester at Cleveland State Community College. After CSCC, she will be pursuing a Masters in Art Therapy. She first learned about Turn the Page through Dr. Bryan’s service learning Composition II class. Over the course of that semester she lead a book drive to encourage donations from the community for Bradley County Jail’s library. After spending a semester studying, helping, and writing to incarcerated individuals she discovered an appreciation and the necessity for this type of work. She is currently designing an art program, with Dr. Bryan, to run alongside Turn the Page. Her goal is to see if art can provide an outlet for those in a high stress environment.

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SPONSORS & PARTNERS

Partly funded by the
Humanities of Tennessee
and
The George R. Johnson Foundation.

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SOUTHERN LIT ALLIANCE

The Arts Building

301 East 11th Street

Suite 301

Chattanooga, TN 37403

 

(423) 267-1218

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© 2016 by Southern Lit Alliance