"Hope is the belief that destiny will not be written for us, but by us, by the men and women who are not content to settle for the world as it is, who have the courage to remake the world as it should be.”
- President Barack Obama
Write to Live was created to give a voice to those whose voices are often silenced in issues concerning them. Through this writing program, young people learn the power of their voice, ability and agency by using writing as an outlet to analyze and express thoughts and solutions on social and wellness issues.
Write to Live hopes to inspire a generation of young, active citizens with:
Increased interest in writing
Improved critical thinking and writing skills
Increased sense of self and social awareness and through solutions-oriented thinking
“When I am writing, I am trying to find out who I am, who we are, what we're capable of, how we feel, how we lose and stand up... But I'm also trying for the language... it allows us to explain the pain and the glory, the nuances and delicacies of our existence. And then it allows us to laugh, allows us to show wit. We need language.”
- Maya Angelou
“The world does not deliver meaning to you.
You have to make it meaningful ... and decide what you want and need and must do.”
– Zadie Smith
MANY TEENS ARE STRUGGLING WITH WRITING
The National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP, 2016) stated that 75% of America’s 8th and 12th graders lack proficiency in writing. Meanwhile the past decade of College Board SAT results for NYC high school students show writing scores consistently falling behind math and critical reading at almost every NYC high school.
SOCIAL EMOTIONAL LEARNING (SEL) IS SECONDARY, IF PRESENT
While teachers struggle to implement SEL into classrooms, students of color are often expected to check their identities and experiences at the door, when these aspects should be celebrated and/or welcomed into the learning environment and process.
CIVIC ENGAGEMENT IN SCHOOLS IS NONEXISTANT
In addition to civics not being a subject required by the state, on the civics exam administered by the NAEP in 2014, only 23% of a sample of 18-year-olds performed at or above proficiency.
Combine components of social emotional learning and civic engagement within a writing curriculum, with topics relevant to youths' experiences and communities. This curriculum will expose youth to various forms and techniques of writing, ranging from personal to professional. Place youth at the center of conversations involving them and watch their skill set, well-being and engagement soar.