'Literacy Is The Pathway To Freedom' And Other Thoughts From A Graduation Ceremony Behind Bars

Dec 26, 2018

The fall semester is over for students across South Florida—and at Exchange for Change, it's been a particularly meaningful semester. 

The program teaches writing and fosters literacy within South Florida prisons, and earlier this month, it hosted a formal graduation ceremony at Everglades Correctional Institution.

There were no caps or gowns, just the same blue uniform of every other day, but graduates were called up to a microphone to read their work to the audience of fellow inmates, guards and civilian teachers and visitors.

"It's important that we put a face on mass incarceration, and there's no better way to do that than one person at a time," said Exchange for Change founder Kathie Klarreich.

WLRN attended the event and has this audio postcard:

You can learn more about Exchange for Change projects—including the launch of a new book of stories and poetry from incarcerated authors—at exchange-for-change.org. Classes start up again in January.