Introduction


For over 25 years Alternative Literary Programs, Inc. (ALPS) has successfully pursued a quiet, broad-based, grassroots program of language arts residency programs that has had as its major focus the development of both the literacy and language skills of students in grades K-12 within the public schools of New York State. We work to give students confidence and to have them grow to value themselves through the recognition of their own tangible artistic achievements in poetry, prose and storytelling. Their deeper involvement in writing and reading also often translates across disciplines to better work in other subject areas. We feel strongly that ALPS residencies, in a low-key way, taking place as they do over a series of years at most school sites, encourage students to take an active role in their own education, and to take a measure of control over their own futures rather than allowing themselves to be victimized.

Most of all, we have an abiding faith that there is a profound benefit in having students from different backgrounds and communities communicate their dreams and realize through art both the power of their writing in another's appreciation and an awareness of the value of their shared humanity.