Teaching Vonnegut 2016 in Baltimore

Indianapolis’s Kurt Vonnegut Library to Launch Online “Teaching Vonnegut” Course with Pilot Project in Baltimore City Schools

The Kurt Vonnegut Memorial Library (Vonnegut Library) in Indianapolis, in collaboration with Towson University will unveil its online and in-person teacher training course at a teacher in-service day in Baltimore City Public Schools in April. When teachers introduce students to the work of Kurt Vonnegut, something magical happens. Students are laughing, they’re discussing, they’re thinking deeply and grappling with every complex facet of what it means to be human. The Vonnegut Library is creating an online course that will be free to teachers in an effort to increase students’ love of reading and ability to share their own experiences through the written word. While the Vonnegut Library has delivered in-person teacher training over the past five years through a summer workshop in Indianapolis, the nonprofit had intended to create an online course, as well.

“It was a great day when our friends from Towson University called to discuss this pilot project of taking our important teacher training on the road. We’ve had 10 teachers sign up so far, and that will impact literally hundreds of students this year and in the future,” said Julia Whitehead, founder and CEO of the Vonnegut Library.

Towson University Dean of Libraries, Deborah Nolan, said the program was an “exciting initiative through which Towson can contribute to fostering intellectual inquiry and critical thinking.” The Teaching Vonnegut workshops are facilitated by Max Goller, Director of Education for the Vonnegut Library. A retired Navy veteran and junior high English teacher, Goller will be sharing practical classroom applications for teaching writing, non-fiction and fiction reading related to Vonnegut.

“Vonnegut’s writing is relevant to social issues today – environmentalism, militarism, human rights, censorship, religion’s place in civic life –” said Goller, “And students will find his humor and insights into the human condition fascinating and challenging.”

At the various 2016 Teaching Vonnegut workshops, teachers (middle school, high school, and college teachers of various studies) will hear from Vonnegut scholars on ways to introduce one of our nation’s best authors to young people.  The goal of this program is to give teachers information they need to effectively share Vonnegut’s work with students.

Beth Napier of Baltimore City Public Schools said, “We are excited to work with both Towson University and the Vonnegut Library to help bring Vonnegut literature to the high school classroom and library in order to help students explore the creative writing process while addressing modern day issues in society.  The workshop will be a wonderful way to have librarians and teachers work together to learn more about how to use books by Kurt Vonnegut with students.”

More information on how to sign up for the Baltimore teacher workshop, Indianapolis teacher workshop, or taking the program to your community can be found at www.vonnegutlibrary.org. If you would like to apply for a spot, please follow this link. For more information or sponsorship interest, please email [email protected].

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