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Vera Ann Tilmann, OP tutors Elle at Grand Rapids Creative Youth Center. Photo by Ann Byle for GRMAG.COM. Read more about the Creative Youth Center in the April 2018 issue of GRMAG.COM.

Sister Vera Ann Tilmann is a teacher through and through and in recent years, her education ministry has taken her to her parish of St. Anthony of Padua. In addition, this past year, she has had a special experience volunteering at Grand Rapids Creative Youth Center. In her own words, she introduces this community nonprofit which opened in 2010.

This year, I have had the special experience of volunteering at the Creative Youth Center at 413 Easter Ave. SE in Grand Rapids. Students come to the Creative Youth Center primarily from Martin Luther King Jr. Academy and Campus and Congress Schools. I am one of 30 regular volunteers who assist at three levels of programming.

The Center provides reading, writing and creativity-focused programs for youth aged 6-18. It is a program for students who are eager to “let their imaginations soar”.

At each session, students work one on one with adult reading tutors and develop skills and a love of reading through Book Club. Following Book Club, time is spent on Creative Writing in which young authors explore an exciting new world through poetry, narrative, and nonfiction writing.

“Book Club” Show Students Their Voices Matter

On the evening of May 30 at 6:30 pm, students, parents, tutors, and friends will gather at Wealthy Theater for “Book Launch”. This event showcases students reading from their latest anthology of writing. This event is free and open to the public and we hope to pack the theater with people from the community to ‘show students just how much their voices matter.’ Audiences will receive a peek into the mission of the Creative Youth Center. Students will share samples of their writing from the stage. This writing has been published in an anthology entitled “The Book of Explosions” in which every student became a published author.

Following their presentations, children will have an opportunity to sell signed copies of their book. After the book signing is an Ice Cream Sundae Extravaganza to conclude this heart-warming celebration concluding the Center’s work for the year.

My ministry and events such as Book Launch help make sharing my time at the Creative Learning Center a very positive and meaningful experience. I have really enjoyed this opportunity to be a part of the Creative Learning Center’s endeavors this year.

Invitation to Event

CYC Book Launch & Reading: Dear Monster, Dear World
Wednesday, May 30 • 6:30 PM – 8:30 PM • Wealthy Theater, Grand Rapids
Come hear student authors read from their latest anthology of writing. Refreshments and book sales begin at 5:45. Free and open to the public. Find and share this event on facebook

Learn more about Grand Rapids Creative Youth Center below and on the organization’s website

We believe that while nurturing kids’ writing can give them access to the world, fostering their creativity may allow them to change the world.

Our mission is to prepare kids for life’s adventures by supporting their writing and amplifying their voices.

At the CYC, kids become published authors, leading to a strong sense of identity and an enthusiasm for learning. Our programs are free for all students attending Grand Rapids Public Schools.