Bristol Central alum funds writing initiative

By LISA CAPOBIANCO
STAFF WRITER
Gale Dickau may have been teaching English for 50 years, but an unexpected gift from a former student is taking her on a new journey at Bristol Central High School.
Adrian Wojnarowski, a 1987 graduate of Bristol Central and now ESPN’s NBA Insider, has decided to fund a new program to share his passion for writing with high school students. In connection with his new agreement with ESPN and working with Dickau later this year, Wojnarowski will fund and launch “The Writing Initiative”—a multi-faceted, ongoing program to encourage students to write and help them develop their skills while providing scholarships and teacher enrichment programs.
The announcement came during a recent Board of Education meeting.
“This is an amazing gift to the school district,” said Deputy Superintendent Dr. Susan Moreau.
The founder of Bristol Central’s creative arts magazine, “Signatures,” Dickau will not receive any funds from the donation to continue her passion for inspiring students to write.
Wojnarowski offered Bristol Central a five-year commitment for the program.
“I’m really gratified by this. It’s the largest [gift] we’ve ever received at the high school,” said Dickau, a past recipient of the prestigious Milken Educator Award. “I’m very excited.”
Although Dickau and Wojnarowski are still working out the logistics of The Writing Initiative, the program will establish an open writing lab where students and staff can explore personal, academic and creative writing. From individual consultations on college application essays to hosting author and speaker events to funding writing prizes, the program will provide a variety of opportunities to the entire school community. The program also will explore ongoing professional development for teachers, award college grants to students who pursue writing and grow student publications on multi-media platforms.
In a press release from ESPN, Wojnarowski gave credit to Dickau for his early interest in journalism and writing. A graduate of St. Bonaventure University, Wojnarowski has worked at Yahoo Sports. The New York Times best-selling author also previously worked at the Waterbury Republican-American, The Record, and The Hartford Courant.
“Whatever I’ve been able to achieve in my professional career, it is largely due to the foundation and nurturing provided to me by Gale Dickau and the educators at Bristol Central,” said Wojnarowski in the release. “I am honored to help Mrs. Dickau and BCHS provide platforms to train and inspire the next generation of writers and storytellers. I am a proud alumnus and excited to be a part of the Rams community again.”