‘Ode to Hope’

Wall honoring the late Hope Dunne moves to library

Sarah Juday, left, and Meredith Waara, Marquette-Alger Local Authors co-chairwomen, celebrate the dedication of Hope’s Wall on Wednesday at the Peter White Public Library. The wall, which features writing by local youngsters, was created in honor of the late educator Hope Dunne. (Journal photo by Christie Bleck)


Journal Staff Writer

MARQUETTE — The Peter White Public Library is a fitting home for Hope’s Wall, which celebrates writing by area youths.

The wall, which previously was at Westwood Mall, was dedicated in a Wednesday ceremony at the new location in the lower level of the PWPL.

“Hope” is the late local educator Hope Dunne, who founded the Marquette-Alger Young Authors in 1975. The organization holds an annual conference in May at Northern Michigan University as well as literary activities throughout the year.

John Mallo was instrumental in bringing the wall to the PWPL.

“I was a disciple of Hope Dunne when I was a teacher,” said Mallo, who taught for the Marquette-Alger Regional Educational Service Agency and in Powell Township.

Dunne taught at Northern Michigan University and in Marquette schools.

In a 1997 interview with Russell Magnaghi, NMU professor emeritus and historian, Dunne was quoted as saying: “I taught in the Marquette schools on a remedial basis, which I don’t like. I don’t approve of remedial teaching. If we teach right in the classroom, we don’t need remedial teaching.”

Dunne said she was a believer in cognitive learning.

“That’s where we get kids so that they know how to go out in the world and work with others,” she said in the interview.

Mallo believes the wall’s new location will get more traffic than the mall.

Most people would agree, considering the PWPL’s Youth Services section is right across the hall.

One of her legacies is the Young Authors program in which kids write about many subject matters, Mallo said.

“It could be math,” he said. “It could be anything. She just thought that you learn best by speaking and turning that speaking into writing, and that was something tangible that you could relate to even later.”

Mallo said different local youth writing pieces will be changed on a regular schedule.

Sarah Juday and Meredith Waara, Young Authors co-chairwomen, attended the ceremony.

“Our committee has a representative from each school,” Juday said. “We sign up for a month, and they reach out to their schools, and they bring in work from students, and we post it up on the wall.”

Waara said the community can see the writing as well.

The wall, which includes a colorful quilt with the names of local schools, currently displays work from Aspen Ridge Elementary School fifth-graders, who wrote poems with lines starting with the first letter of autumn-related words such as “fall,” “football” and “Halloween.”

One of those poems, “Halloween,” was written by Jaks Williams.

“How scary can it be,

All the candy just for me!

Lots of pumpkins on the porch,

Lots of houses have a torch.

Outfits are fun to wear.

We are jumping in the air.

Eerie sound.

Endless candy all around.

Never like the webs!”

A short poetic piece displayed at the wall, “Ode to Hope,” honors Dunne: “We’re here to honor our teacher and friend for her inspiration. ‘Write on!’ to the end.”

A photograph of Dunne accompanies this piece.

“You should look at the picture and imagine Hope lecturing you,” Mallo told the audience of people who knew her.

For more information on Young Authors, visit youngauthorsmqt.weebly.com.

Christie Bleck can be reached at 906-228-2500, ext. 250. Her email address is cbleck@miningjournal.net.


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