The Telling Room FUNdraiser; 12/20 at Bayside Bowl

By Carol McCracken  (Post # 661)

Friends of The Telling Room are invited to attend a family-friendly fundraiser for this non-profit on Monday, December 20th from 4 – 7 PM.  The event is happening at the spacious, new Bayside Bowl.  Five % of the proceeds from dinner & drink will benefit The Telling Room’s free creative writing, literacy and arts programs for local youths; a very special program in the area.

Following that will be an opportunity for friends and families to bowl, but that’s optional.  If you aren’t a bowler, you can watch and cheer on your team!  The Telling Room has reserved six bowling lanes and will have it’s own bowling tournament.  To sign up, please email Molly.  There are prizes for the winning team!  

The  highly respected program serves over 1,000 students across Southern Maine each year said Heather Davis, Development Director for the non-profit in an email to MHN.com earlier today.   In 2004, The Telling Room began as a place for refugee and immigrant English Language Learner students at Portland High School.   That first year, the group put out its first anthology of student writing, called “I Remember Warm Rain: 15 Teenagers, 15 Coming to America Stories.”  Ever since, the non-profit has put out a yearly anthology of student work.

The non-profit hosts literary field trips during the day, goes into schools for multi-week intensives with languaage arts classes, offers free workshops and “Open Writing Hours” after school and much more.  There are over 300 volunteers who work with a very diverse group of students from refugees to homeschoolers to youth at-risk of dropping out of high school to passionate young writers who want more help and guidance then they can access at school, according to Davis.   The lead teacher for The Telling Room is Patty Hagge of Munjoy Hill.

Of special interest,  The Telling Room was founded in 2004 by three local writers; husband and wife Mike Paterniti and Sara Corbett and their good friend, Susan Conley.  Mike and Sara write for “GQ” and the “New York Times Magazine,” respectively.  Mike wrote “Driving Mr. Albert,” a national bestselling   book about traveling across the country with Einstein’s brain.  Conley’s first book, a memoir, about surviving breast cancer while living in China called “The Foremost Good Fortune” is being published this winter.

The Telling  Room is located at 225 Commercial Street, Suite 201.  It’s executive direcor is Gibson Fay-LeBlanc, a poet and teacher.

For more information, please visit http://www.tellingroom.org or email heaher@tellingroom.org  The phone number is:  207 774-6064.