Clay High School to host award-winning author

Clay High School to host award-winning author
Posted on 11/02/2021
Paul Valponi

Clay High School’s English department will host New-York based novelist, journalist, and educator Paul Volponi, award-winning author of 14 young adult novels, on Thursday, November 4. Among Volponi’s award-winning books are the American Library Association winners Rikers High and Black and White.

Volponi’s novels draw upon real-life challenges faced by teenagers today. During his day-long workshops, Volponi splits his time working with young writers of all levels, stressing to them his own hesitancy toward literacy and writing as an adolescent.

Volponi began his career as a novelist following his years teaching high school English at Rikers Island as well as at adolescent drug treatment centers in New York. Today, he continues his work in the classroom by conducting creative writing workshops in high schools throughout the country, sharing his experiences to connect with students who may not consider themselves to be writers.

“We’re fortunate to have Mr. Volponi joining us here at Clay,” said SBCSC Director of Curriculum and Literacy Rachel Anders. “In the world of young adult writing and readership, he is respected for his empathy, grit, and unforgettable storytelling. What he’s learned from his students and their experiences shows memorably in his work, and we’re honored to welcome him and have him get to know our young writers at Clay.” Volponi will work with student groups throughout the day at Clay High School, facilitating closed workshops with young writers chosen by their teachers. Members of the press are invited to Clay High School at 11:30 a.m. on Thursday, November 4 to speak with Mr. Volponi, students, and English department chair Don Gerstbauer.


Award-winning author Paul Volponi
Clay High School English students
English Department Chair Don Gerstbauer
Director of Curriculum and Literacy Rachel Anders


Creative writing workshops
Interview opportunities


Thursday, November 4, 2021
11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.


Clay High School
19131 Darden Rd.
South Bend, IN 46637

Contact: Monica Garvey, Assistant Director of Communications, [email protected]