Filament Literary Magazine earns grant


The Filament Literary Magazine plans on adding more pages to the publication as well as more art.

Jude Nanaw, Editor in Chief

AHS received a grant from the National Education Association known as the “Student Achievement Grant.”

The $5,000 grant was awarded to the Filament Literary Magazine as a means of assisting in funding with not only the magazine itself but with events and applications both inside and outside of the classroom as well.

The provider of the grant, the NEA Foundation, is a public charity founded by educators to improve public education for all students. Through Student Achievement grants, the NEA has provided funding to thousands of educators to enable them to take the lead on a wide range of projects to improve student learning.

The grant has been nicknamed “Unheard Voices” and funding runs through January 2020. It is exclusive as only 20 schools were recipients of the grant nationwide.

“We felt that there is an untapped corner in this community that needs a different kind of venue for self-expression,” English teacher Leslie Chekin said.

Chekin and English teacher Soo-Jin Lee are Co-Advisers for the Filament and they applied for the grant last summer. After the application process and a four-month waiting period, they were notified that AHS was selected for the award.

“Since we both teach IB Language and Literature and Ms. Lee does Creative Writing, we’ve been channeling the results into the Filament,” Chekin said. “Now we have this grant tied to those two classes and we have Coffee House as a venue for the work we do in those classes.”

With a great deal of student creativity put on display in IB Language and Literature classes as well as Creative Writing, the grant will allow for student work to be further expressed. In recent years, student work has been displayed through two different showcases the Filament and Coffee House, allowing for both live and print forms of expression.

“It [the grant] allows for the work of students to live in multiple ways,” Lee said.

The Coffee House event has developed and grown throughout this school year as students have performed live in front of audiences by performing songs, raps, poems or even plays. Also a fundraiser, Coffee House raises money for the printing of the Filament through admission and concession sales.

“Through the grant, we now have the money to pay for the props and sound equipment that we need for Coffee House,” Chekin said.

With Coffee House featuring live performances, a wide range of technological and sound equipment is required as well as decorations which go along with the theme of a given Coffee House.

“The grant allows us to professionalize our production unit,” Lee said.