Bronx Students Write Through Veils Of EmotionContact: Finnegan, Lisa
NEW YORK - Bronx eighth grader Bruce Billingy never dreamed his words would be published in a book. But Billingy's essay was one of several printed in "Listen to Our Heart" Psalms from the Bronx, a book highlighting the work of students in an after-school tutoring program run by Fordham University at St. Martin of Tours. Billingy and 36 of his peers wrote about everything from the joy of playing basketball to feelings of love for their parents, watching friends being stabbed and attending funerals.
The St. Martin's Writing Project, in which more than 50 Fordham University undergraduates work with 65 children, consists of several elements. The students learn to make homework a daily habit and receive one-on-one tutoring. Additionally, through The Enrichment Program, students are asked to think and write deeply and seriously about their lives. The result is this book, which was published in July.
"The Writing Project isn't just for the children to practice writing," said Daniel Hendrickson, S.J., who was the director of the Enrichment Program and is a Fordham University alumnus. "It's to help them become thinkers, to reflect on their lives. These are the stories of their lives, written through the lens of emotions."
Founded in 1841, Fordham is New York City's Jesuit university. It has residential campuses in the north Bronx and Manhattan, as well as academic centers in Tarrytown and Armonk, N.Y.