A Fabriqueta de Historias (The Story Factory) believes in the power of words. This project aims to equip underprivileged children aging from 8 to 18 with language skills and strengthen them as both students and individuals by offering creative writing workshops. By engaging students from both public and private schools, A Fabriqueta de Historias also fosters a community of co-creation, which is often prevented by Brazil's high economic inequality.
Brazil's educational system is failing in two ways. First, it fails to teach basic Portuguese in its public schools. Only 1/4 of 8th graders can read a written paragraph. Second, the school system is profoundly segregated. 8.6% of high-income children go to public schools and only 3.8% of low-income children go to private schools. This gap results in the perpetuation of prejudice and social divide in Brazil. Great opportunity lies in bridging this divide in order to create a more just society.
A Fabriqueta de Historias provides students from public and private schools with a project-based creative writing experience. Professional writers and designers are brought in to teach children the power of storytelling. A Fabriqueta de Historias embraces the premises of the maker pedagogy. Over the course of the workshops, students take an active part in each phase of creating a book, from the original idea to the final print. They all leave with a book in hand and their names on the cover!
Research shows that language fluency is essential for breaking out of the cycle of poverty. By learning new habits of mind and improving their writing, underprivileged children can do better at school and hence have a better chance of getting a job afterwards. Words help them find their own voices and express their opinions. Also, experiences of co-creation can bring together segregated populations and help reduce stereotypes, fight social divide and build lasting grounds for social inclusion.