ANNUAL WRITER'S RETREAT
IOW understands how valuable this wrap-up event is to students. Since 1998, we have convened on-site annual Writers' Retreat to further enhance the beneficial aspects of the writing classes. Serving as a space of creative expression, retreats are also an opportunity for students to experience the performance aspects of writing to an audience beyond their weekly classes. Administration of retreats is embedded in IOW's program model and leveraged as an opportunity to encourage students to practice public speaking skills and advance personal development and artistic decision-making through their choice of which piece to read. IOW also directly informs students that participation in their hall's retreat is contingent on there being no recent incident report which serves as an incentive for self-actualizing behavior. IOW administers memorable retreats through reliance on 1) IOW Program staff working with BMP and Probation administration to schedule the event and secure the requisite clearances for performers and guests; 2) volunteer teachers who have training and experience in preparing a wide range of students for the event, including participants who are placed in IOW classes for the first time a week prior to the event; 3) use of simple but effective format that prioritizes enjoyment of the event (by students, guests, Probation staff, and family members).