Why Mighty Writers
“There is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside you.”
— Maya Angelou
Numbers don't lie.
Philadelphia remains the poorest big city in the country. Nearly 40-percent of the city’s students are not graduating high school and only 30-percent of eighth grade kids are reading and writing at grade level.
It's why literacy isn’t just a mission for Mighty Writers.
In 2009, we launched Mighty Writers with a five-word elevator pitch: We teach kids to write.
We also had our mission statement at the ready: To teach kids to think clearly and write with clarity so they can achieve success.
It's been nonstop Mightiness ever since.
In 2018, we impacted the lives of over 3,500 Philly kids with our free writing programs that teach kids to think clearly and write with clarity.
That's 500 kids more than the year before. And 1,000 more than two years ago.
We're not surprised by the growth. We know what we have.
Writing has power. Learn to express yourself and the world opens up.
We see it at Mighty Writers everyday.
You'd think something with so much power would be top of mind in every school district in the country.
You'd think wrong.
In most school systems, math, science and standardized tests take precedence.
And not always in that order.
Writing sits by itself in the back of the bus.
Don't get us wrong. We love math and science.
But what good is being a math or science whiz if you can't clearly communicate your findings?
In the past twelve months, we've brought our programs to two city recreation centers: the Rivera Recreation Center, at 5th & Allegheny in North Philadelphia, and the Penrose Recreation Center, at 11th & Susquehanna, also in North Philadelphia.
This coming year, we plan to bring Mighty Writers to two more city recreation centers.
We want to reach 10,000 kids by 2020.
Our ultimate goal is to make Philadelphia home to the clearest student thinkers and writers in the nation.
How do we plan to do that?
By sticking close to our mission: to teach kids to think and write with clarity.
When kids spend time at Mighty Writers, their self-esteem soar, grades improve and their eyes become fixed on the future.
We get kids thinking and writing with clarity through daily after-school writing academies at all our locations; through writing classes nights and weekends; via teen scholar programs; and by putting a high priority on post-high school prep and college essay writing classes.
Most importantly, we listen closely to what the kids are talking about and plan our programming accordingly.
All our programs are free
to the students we serve.
We don't do any of this alone. Over 400 of the city’s best creative minds (writers, teachers, journalists, etc.) volunteer and help us teach the hard work of writing to kids ages seven to 17 in seven Mighty Writers locations.
We need all of them-- and you-- this year again to be part of the movement to make Philadelphia home to the best student writing in the country.
And, yes, we need your financial support, too, so that we can open more Mighty spaces and reach even more neighborhood kids this year again.
Writing has magical powers and much of that power comes to us in the form of your kindness.
We so appreciate that. You don't even know.
Tim Whitaker, Executive Director
Our Mighty Writer centers are located in seven neighborhoods:
MW El Futuro, 1025 S. 9th Street
MW North, 1600 W Norris Street
MW South, 1501 Christian Street
MW West, 3520 Fairmount Ave.
MW Penrose, 1101 Susquehanna Avenue
MW Camden, 1801 Broadway, Camden, NJ
Stop by and see us.