Write to Right Launches Writing Workshops

On Feb. 1, Write to Right held its first student-led writing workshop with third-grade students from Garrison Elementary School, teaching creative writing skills as a means toward social justice.

Through running an after-school program for Kid Power, an organization striving to provide educational resources to underserved communities, Write to Right, a student club started in October this year, aims to teach creative writing to low-income students to develop self-expression, communication abilities and imagination.

To raise money and buy materials for students at the weekly workshops, Write to Right held a fundraiser at the recent GEICO Girls Basketball Invitational Tournament hosted by Sidwell.

“Write to Right embraces Kid Power’s goal of empowering youth leadership and giving back to the community,” Kid Power Director Sterling Pino-DeGale explained. “Students in every classroom level I have been a part of have struggled with writing, but Write to Right helps to solve a lot of these problems by providing a low-stakes environment to have fun with writing,” he added.

In the first session, Garrison Elementary students participated in an activity known as “Fortunately, Unfortunately,” where they narrated a story by alternating between a positive and a negative event, such as successful performance at a sports’ game and then an injury following it. Students then wrote their own stories in the same format, emphasizing the creativity and imagination taught in the activity.

Sophomore and student writing instructor Krish Batra said that “the activity allowed the students to engage in whatever crazy and fun things they wanted to say.” He found that many kids were initially hesitant to participate but later offered creative suggestions.

Batra shared that he loved the first session with the students, as they seemed engaged in the learning and were enjoying themselves. He admitted he was initially worried he would have trouble teaching them but found that they were outgoing and thrilled to learn from Write to Right’s curriculum.

Center for Ethical Leadership Coordinator Alexandra McCoy and Pino-DeGale were also impressed with the first session, observing that the students were excited to attend the workshops.

Write to Right has also held several events with Free Minds Book Club & Writing Workshop, a nonprofit organization dedicated to promoting self-expression among incarcerated persons through creative writing and poetry.

“Free Mind’s goal of teaching creative writing skills to incarcerated persons helped inspire Write to Right’s curriculum, as it demonstrated the value in teaching people, especially those who don’t have access, the importance of creative writing,” McCoy said.

Write to Right embraces Kid Power’s goal of empowering youth leadership and giving back to the community.

— Sterling Pino-DeGale

Several of Free Mind’s events helped Write to Right Founder Tara Prakash formulate the curriculum, as both Free Minds and Write to Right emphasize the importance of contributing to the community by providing positive feedback on writing.

“Free Minds and Write to Right both encourage people to express themselves through writing and creativity, allowing people to develop the vital skill of self-expression and generally appreciate the art of creative writing,” Batra said.