Poynter Institute Names Dr. Christopher Warren of the University of South Florida as Director of its Write Field Program for Minority Youth

The Write Field is a dynamic academic enrichment and mentoring program for middle school minority male youth in St. Petersburg, Florida.

Dec 10, 2015, 16:40 ET from The Poynter Institute

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla., Dec. 10, 2015 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Poynter Institute, a global leader in journalism, has tapped Dr. Christopher Warren as its director of the Institute's Write Field program.

Dr. Warren has served the Write Field initiative as a mentor for three years and succeeds Kenny Irby, a Poynter faculty member who left the Institute in November. Dr. Warren directs a National Institute of Health-funded resource and referral program supporting African American families at the University of South Florida St. Petersburg. Dr. Warren will continue in that role for USFSP and direct the Write Field on a part-time basis.

"I happily served as mentor, educator and counselor in the program over the past several years and I will now continue that responsibility as the new director," Dr. Warren said. "What I can offer to the program are my own unique talents as an educator and family service provider for the University of South Florida St. Petersburg, a devoted father, community activist for the rights and educational opportunities for children and families in the south side of St. Petersburg, and a person who believes in the unlimited potential of black and brown children."

The Write Field, now in its fifth year, is a dynamic mentoring program designed to improve the academic performance and life skills of selected middle school boys. The initiative strives to make a difference through its engaging academic enrichment and mentoring by law enforcement, business and community leaders.

The program is serving 42 boys during the 2015/16 academic school year. The Write Field is funded by grants and generous individual contributions, with major partnerships with the City of St. Petersburg, Wells Fargo, Pinellas County Schools, the St. Petersburg Police Department, the Pinellas County Sheriff's Office, the Mahaffey Theater and the Tampa Bay Rays.

The Write Field program was featured nationally on PBS and recognized by the U.S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan last year for its work in helping to reduce the dropout rate, especially among students of color.

"Our commitment to the Write Field program and to the St. Petersburg community, has never been stronger," said Poynter President Tim Franklin. "We are delighted to welcome Dr. Warren to his new role and are confident that he will bring his energy and enthusiasm to this transformational experience for young boys in not just writing – but in life."

About The Poynter Institute

The Poynter Institute for Media Studies is a global leader in journalism education and a strategy center that stands for uncompromising excellence in journalism, media and 21st century public discourse. Poynter faculty teach seminars and workshops at the Institute in St. Petersburg, Fla., and at conferences and organizational sites around the world. Its e-learning division, News University, www.newsu.org, offers the world's largest online journalism curriculum in 7 languages, with more than 400 interactive courses and 330,000 registered users in more than 200 countries. The Institute's website, www.poynter.org, produces 24-hour coverage of news about media, ethics, technology, the business of news and the trends that currently define and redefine journalism news reporting. The world's top journalists and media innovators come to Poynter to learn and teach new generations of reporters, storytellers, media inventors, designers, visual journalists, documentarians and broadcast producers, and to build public awareness about journalism, media, the First Amendment and protected discourse that serves democracy and the public good.

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SOURCE The Poynter Institute