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The Education Effect

PAPER Infographic

Check out this infographic we designed to kick off the start of our new campaign PAPER (Promoting Access to Prison Educational Resources). The piece helps visualize some of the big numbers that relate to the current reality of incarceration and the importance of prison education. For example, inmates who participated in educational programs are 43 percent less likely to return to prison, which is a big deal since one half of the people released from prison return within three years.

Read more about our research every Monday keep looking forward to our Friday media-related posts.

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The Prison Books Collective

By Lisa Dzera

Students of the World (SOW) is a national organization of university students producing multimedia stories to inspire social action. Each college chapter creates portfolios focused on the social issues its members care about. These portfolios include photography, videography, writing, and graphic design. This semester, Students of the World-UNC is focusing on education in the prison system. As its first project, Promoting Access to Prison Educational Resources (PAPER), SOW-UNC contacted the Internationalist Prison Books Collective, a nonprofit organization in Carrboro dedicated to providing books to incarcerated people.

On Sunday, February 9, 2014, students documented an average day at the Collective through photos, film and interviews with volunteers. During the workday, volunteers read letters from incarcerated people requesting particular books. They then search the Collective’s bookshelves to fill the order as completely as possible and package and send the books to prisons. SOW talked to volunteers about what got them involved with the Collective, what books were requested the most and their favorite parts about the work. Based on the interviews and information it collected, SOW-UNC will produce a video and several written pieces explaining the importance of the Collective and ways for people to get involved.

January Update

By Wynton Wong

It’s hard to believe that it’s only been a month since Winter Break ended due to all of the work that we’ve done so far. Since announcing our focus for the media campaign for the coming months (if you don’t know what I’m talking about, check out this post by Kristi) we have begun taking the steps to make this media campaign as effective and fantastic as possible.

We are working with amazing people across North Carolina to foster awareness of the educational needs of incarcerated individuals. The Prison Books Collective in Carrboro, N.C., which takes requests for books from prisoners and works to fulfill them, and Brick Oettinger, the Associate Director for Correctional Education at the Friday Center at UNC-CH are just a few. We’re learning so much and are so excited to learn more from our growing list of contacts.

The plan is to research and gather raw materials like interview footage through February and will continue to work to create finished pieces through the end of the semester. We will try to arrange events to promote a more comprehensive understanding of this important issue. We have adopted a goal to increase the number of book donations and volunteers at the Prison Books Collective.

We hope to be accepted into the Clinton Global Institute University to see if we will be attending their annual conference in March, where we will have the opportunity to spread our passion and inspire our peers across the country. We will also get to see the cool projects they are working on.

 If you haven’t, please follow us on Twitter and Instagram, for updates and sneak peeks of what we are working on. Keep checking our site for posts every Monday.

P.S. Look out for the upcoming release of our promo video!

The Road to Higher Learning

By Kristi Walker

A lot of talk in North Carolina is focused on education. The benefits of well-educated citizens are unquestionable. With this in mind, our chapter is excited to announce that education will be the centerpiece of our media campaign for the rest of the school year. All of our main portfolio projects will have an education-driven theme. As highlighted in earlier posts, our first project is concentrated on Enrich ESL, a student organization in Chapel Hill that offers free English classes to people in the community.
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