Back2Basics Long-Term Residential Treatment Center Adds Writing Class to Sober Living Program

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When Back2Basics residents have headed out on their backpacking adventures in the past few weeks, they’ve been toting a little extra weight: journals for an in-house writing class.

It’s neat to have conversations with the residents when they reflect on their academic and career histories and plan for exciting future, especially when I know they were on such destructive paths before.

Staff members at Back2Basics – northern Arizona’s only long-term residential treatment center – have been encouraged by the success of their graduates. The young men are returning to their lives and communities stronger, healthier and more ambitious than ever to complete academic degrees and make professional contributions. Back2Basics strives to help residents feel as prepared as possible for those bold and healthy steps. So in early April, the sober living program began offering writing classes.

So far, the weekly classes have included lessons on spelling and grammar, cover letters, resumes and reading comprehension. Soon they'll be reviewing academic essay formats, appropriate online "presence," professional communication styles and – for anyone interested – creative writing and journalism.

Back2Basics writing instructor, Anne Minard, has been a professional journalist for more than a decade. Her hundreds of published articles have appeared in newspapers and magazines across the country, as well as online outlets including Scientific American and National Geographic News. In addition to her writing, Anne has taught journalism and English for 10 years at Northern Arizona University, the University of Colorado at Boulder and Coconino Community College. She believes good writing requires hard work, but it yields an amazing payoff: the ability to communicate more effectively – and be better understood – in all aspects of life.

She says teaching at B2B offers a heartwarming experience she doesn’t always get in a college or university setting.

“It’s neat to have conversations with the residents when they reflect on their academic and career histories and plan for exciting futures,” she said, “especially when I know they were on such destructive paths before.”

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Roy DuPrez

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