A Literary Powerhouse in Bushwick Needs Artist Volunteers to Support Its Programming!

Here’s a volunteer opportunity no one will want to pass on!

Over the next five Thursdays, students at Still Waters in the Storm, a one-room schoolhouse on Stanhope Street, will be working on illuminated books in the style of William Blake, the poet famous for his beautiful, detailed engravings. Volunteers are needed to assist the teacher who will be leading activities and discussion.

The organization was founded by innovative educator Stephen Haff nine years ago in an effort to combat the regimented and impersonal education students experience in many schools. The students are between the ages of 6 and 15, and the free classes expose them to contemporary and classic literature, music, Latin, and writing. Currently, the students are reading Paradise Lost on Mondays and Tuesdays.

The lineup of writers who have come to read for the youngsters is more than impressive. Peter Carey, Mary Gaitskill, Deborah Landau, Zadie Zmith, and Jonathan Safran Foer have all found their way to the storefront on Stanhope to give their time in between winning prestigious awards such as the Man Booker, the National Book Award, and the Pulitzer.

The classroom environment promises to be an incredible one. In a feature by Steph Thomphson for The Huffington Post, Haff summed up his philosophy thus: “Every child, regardless of the family’s ability to pay, needs beauty and joy.”

Those interested in volunteering over the next five Thursday nights in July and August can contact Stephen directly by emailing [email protected]. If you cannot volunteer but want to support, supplies donations are welcome!

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