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Community Partners

Since 2012 Telling It has expanded its reach into the community, increasing the number of underserved youth. This growth provides our U-M students with a greater variety in their internship opportunities. At each of the Telling It program sites there are ten to fifteen youth and anywhere from two to six U-M student interns who serve as “Big Buddies” to the youth. Today, U-M students have the opportunity to intern at one of the following community sites.

Avalon Housing, a partner since 2010, is a community-based, nonprofit whose mission is to provide affordable housing and support services for Washtenaw County’s lowest income households, with a priority on people who are homeless or at-risk of homelessness, and who have a mental or physical disability. Telling It is offered at Avalon’s Pauline Apartments community as a weekly after-school program for youth ages 11-15.  Click here to see the Avalon Anthologies

SOS Community Services, a Telling It partner since 2002, is an agency that connects families to vital resources in Washtenaw County. They promote housing stability and family self-sufficiency through collaboration, care and respect. Telling It is offered as a weekly after-school program to promote literacy, self-esteem, and a positive self-image among underserved children ages six to thirteen.

Telling It is also a vehicle for college education by providing academically rigorous engaged learning both inside and outside the classroom at the University of Michigan's Residential College. Telling It, in partnership with the University of Michigan’s Residential College course, “Empowering Community through Creative Expression,” offers U-M students field placements at a community-based organization that uses the arts in a social justice context. This four-credit course introduces students to the ways in which the creative arts are used to reflect community issues and provide platforms for problem-solving and personal transformation. Open to undergraduate and graduate students, the class is taught by a collaboration of teachers that model an engaged-learning teaching style, and the lead teacher is also the Telling It director. The Residential College, a partner since 2002, serves as the program's administrative home.

The Washtenaw Alliance for Children and Youth is a collaboration of youth-serving agencies dedicated to improving services, quality of life and success for young people in our community.

Vision: All Washtenaw County youth will be ready for college, work and life by age 21.
Goal: Increase high school graduation rates.

Washtenaw County Sheriff’s OfficeTelling It is part of their outreach program initiatives to engage vulnerable teenagers living in neighborhoods with high crime and few to no after-school activities. A partner since 2011, Telling It is offered as a weekly after-school drop-in enrichment program at the Parkridge Community Center located in Ypsilanti. Two programs are offered: one for children ages 7-11 and the other for teens ages 12-18. 

Established in 2001, the Ypsilanti Area Community Fund (YACF) is dedicated to building a permanent endowment to enrich the quality of life in the Ypsilanti area. Telling It was the recipient of a grant for the 2017 calendar year that will be used to build on the success of Telling It at Parkridge Community Center in Ypsilanti.

Telling It was successfully piloted at the Ypsilanti Community Middle School as a weekly after-school enrichment program during the spring 2014 semester, and we are now offering Telling It on a regular basis to 8th grade students.