Class partners with Freestore Foodbank

By: Jessica Larkin ~Copy Editor~

This fall, Dr. Wendy Maxian’s 200-level communications course called Writing for the Media will be collaborating with Freestore Food Bank’s COOKS! Program.

The purpose of the course is to learn about and construct media writing while creating real media content fora local nonprofit. The course will allow students to apply their knowledge in a realworld setting,
rather than using fake audiences and assignments. The Freestore Foodbank’s
COOKS! Program began in 2001 to help students prepare for work in the food service industry.

The program is a free, 10-week program for students who come from low-income households. The program uses both donated and purchased food from the Rosenthal Community Kitchen.

“I worked closely with Sean Rhiney in the Eigel Center to choose a community partner that would meet the needs of the class,” Maxian said. “Sean suggested the COOKS! program as a partner because they have interesting stories to tell. After talking with the Foodbank’s communications person, it was clear that students would have material to work with and that COOKS! was eager to have students create content for them,” Maxian said.

Working with a non-profit organization will give students a chance to work with content that is generally more captivating than many other hypothetical assignments.

Non-profit organizations commonly require more communication- relation services, giving students a plethora of chances to practice with a real-life application and hone their abilities in media writing. “Using a client allows students to immediately see the practical nature of media writing … and how narrative writing can be incorporated to help a client’s audiences become more involved with the client’s organization,” Maxian said.

Maxian also noted that the course’s close work with the non-profit fits Xavier’s mission of solidarity and “men and women for others.”

“The goal of the partnership between my (Writing for the Media) students and the Freestore Foodbank’s COOKS! Program is to demonstrate the value and power of media writing while providing high-quality content for a non-profit,” Maxian said. The course will better exemplify how media writing can be practically applied to real-world services, especially non-profits.

Communication majors and writing minors are encouraged to take the course to fit the requirement, but any student with an interest in working with this writing style can take the course.