After more than a year, we can officially say: we did it!
Thanks to your help, Mighty Writers has taken our programs to a brand new level.
With your help, we piloted our initial MIGHTYVISION comic book workshop program from Summer 2011 through Spring 2012. The project earned us a citywide reputation in delivering impactful, engaging and fun comic book workshops, and our teaching artists have since been contracted by local libraries and our city’s “ArtsRising” initiative to deliver comic book programs in local schools and libraries for hundreds more city students.
All told, we reached more than 250 Philadelphia kids, in our own spaces and occasionally in their classrooms, with comic book programming. It was our goal to reach 250, and we're thrilled to say we not only met that goal but surpassed it, thanks to you.
The need for no-cost writing programs is not going away. In our city, half of our working-age population—every second person you see around the city—is battling illiteracy. This problem can't just fix itself.
Now that we've attracted more kids to our writing programs, through the draw of comic books, and since we've engaged those kids to become more active, confident and competent writers in our comic book workshops, what's next?
First, we'll serve more kids than ever (1,250 or more this year!) in our South Philadelphia headquarters at 15th and Christian streets, through our afterschool Academy, themed writing workshops, SAT prep, Teen Scholars program and mentorships.
And since moving out of our temporary MIGHTYVISION space at 641 South Street, we've opened yet another satellite center across town—this time at 1537 South Street.
There, we're launching Mighty Writers 2.0—an initiative to offer new media and technology workshops to get city teens learning, writing and getting their thoughts out into the public sphere, whether it's on a computer screen or a smartphone. Teens will work together to build apps, blog, learn how to use social networks for good, and produce multimedia content to be featured on two brand new youth media outlets—the Mighty Post website and (internet-based) Mighty Radio station. All of this is launching toward the end of the September, in just a couple short weeks.
We're looking to expand our services into West Philadelphia by 2013 and we're focused on engaging more kids and teens from Philly's Latino community.
Oh, and we're working with the Anderson Monarchs, a baseball team of 11-year-olds (who are now Mighty Writers) that recently barnstormed the country on a 4,000 mile bus tour to honor the Negro Leagues. We armed every kid on the team with a journal, and we plan to help them publish a book on their experience this winter.
Your support makes all of this possible. Please keep an eye out for more projects posted by us (SOON!) on GlobalGiving.
P. S. A few reasons that kids and teens in Philly, often by way of their parents or teachers, continue to sign up for free writing programs (including comic book programs) at Mighty Writers:
“My son has never been in a program where he said he feels like he belongs. He's becoming a better team player by interacting with members of your program. He has begun to write more often and uses his writing to express good and bad memories. This program is having a positive impact on his self-esteem.” —Ryekisha Coffie, mother of an 8th grader at C. W. Henry & Mighty Mural Project participant
“I feel that improving my writing will allow me to express myself with greater freedom. Coming from another country sometimes causes me to think too much rather than just writing. I would also like to interact and learn from other people.” —Yan, a 10th grader at West Philadelphia High School & Teen Scholars program participant
“My son Taj and his friends have been working on a comic book of their own all year. He loves comic books and has even created his own characters. I know he'll love this.” —Darlene Turner, mother of a 7th grader at KIPP West Philly & Writing Comic Scripts participant
“Nala has struggled with her writing this school year. By signing up for these workshops, we have strong faith that she will learn to love writing and gain the confidence she needs.” —Shahada Monson, mother of a 6th grader at Ann B. Anderson & Miss Write Now participant
Mighty Writing Dudes
Where It All Started
A Mighty Group
Wait, Writing Can Be Fun?